Tracheal Shave

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Chondrolaryngoplasty, also referred to as tracheal shave or diminution of Adam's apple, constitutes a surgical endeavor that falls under the purview of plastic and reconstructive surgery. This operation involves diminishing the size of the Adam's apple, which represents the salient thyroid cartilage in the neck region, by means of cartilage excision. The fundamental aim of a tracheal shave is to engender a more seamless, femininely contoured neck area for individuals seeking a womanlier appearance. Generally, a tracheal shave is executed by a plastic surgeon possessing substantial expertise and tutelage in head and neck operations. (1) (2) (3)

Within a 2018 investigation centered on patient contentment subsequent to tracheal shave, individuals who had experienced a tracheal shave were inquired about their satisfaction with the surgical result. The preponderance of patients expressed contentment with the outcome of this operation. This procedure is frequently pursued by transgender women as a constituent of their gender affirmation surgery, or by those who simply aspire to decrease the prominence of their Adam's apple for aesthetic purposes. (4)

Tracheal Shave
Procedure Details
Duration 1 hour
Age Limit + 18 years old
Pain after surgery 3-4 days
Working after surgery 1 Week
Anesthesia General Anesthesia
Hospital Stay Same-day Discharge
Recovery Time 1 Month
Surgical Procedure Yes

Definition and Overview

A surgical technique called a tracheal shave is intended to lessen the size and prominence of the Adam's apple. The thyroid cartilage, which guards the vocal chords and helps with voice production, forms the Adam's apple. While the size of the Adam's apple can vary from person to person, some people may have an Adam's apple that is more prominent or noticeably protrudes, making them self-conscious about the shape of their neck.

To achieve a more streamlined and refined neck contour, the thyroid cartilage is carefully removed or reshaped during a tracheal shave procedure. Depending on the intended result, the operation can help people create a more feminine or masculine appearance by lowering the size of the Adam's apple.


Generally speaking, general anesthesia or local anaesthetic with sedation are used during tracheal shaving surgeries. The process entails the following crucial steps:

  • Incision: A small incision is made by the surgeon in the neck's natural crease, frequently in the submental area or directly above the Adam's apple. The incision is carefully positioned to reduce obvious scars and enhance the aesthetic outcome.
  • Accessing the Thyroid Cartilage: The surgeon delicately separates the skin and muscle to reveal the thyroid cartilage through the incision. The vocal cords and recurrent laryngeal nerve, two sensitive tissues close to the Adam's apple, are guarded with particular care.
  • Cartilage Reduction: Using exact surgical methods, the physician removes any extra cartilage from the thyroid cartilage by trimming or shaving it. The objective is to retain adequate anatomical function while achieving a more proportional and aesthetically acceptable neck profile. The surgeon aims for a result that looks natural and in tune with the rest of the facial characteristics while taking into account the patient's preferred outcome.
  • Closure and Recovery: The incision is carefully stitched shut when the desired reduction has been achieved. Depending on the circumstances, the surgeon may use dissolvable or non-dissolvable sutures. The incision site is covered with a clean covering, and patients are given post-operative care instructions to encourage the best possible healing.

Tracheal Shave Risks and Side Effects

According to WebMD, a tracheal shave is generally a minor procedure yet it is not without its share of potential complications. Individuals considering this surgery should consult with healthcare professionals about the risks involved.

Potential complications include:

  • Odynophagia, which refers to painful swallowing.
  • Dysphagia, or difficulties experienced during swallowing.
  • A hoarse voice, which may arise after the procedure.
  • Laryngospasm, characterized by muscle spasms within the vocal cords.


The majority of people who undergo tracheal shaving surgery do so to improve the look of their neck and create a more even facial profile. Candidates for this procedure may come from any of the following groups:

  • Individuals who identify as transgender: Tracheal shaving surgery is frequently done as part of facial masculinization or feminization treatments for transgender people. Reducing the size of the Adam's apple can assist transgender women (designated male at birth) achieve a more feminine contour. On the other hand, transgender men who were given the gender of a woman at birth could decide to have their tracheas shaved to look more manly.
  • Non-Transgender People: Cisgender people who are self-conscious about the prominence of their Adam's apple may also elect to have their tracheas shaved. They can improve their general self-image by achieving a more balanced and aesthetically pleasing neck profile with the aid of this operation.

Good overall health, realistic expectations for the results, and awareness of the procedure's potential dangers and advantages are all requirements for tracheal shave surgery candidates. To ascertain eligibility and talk about specific objectives, it is crucial to have a full consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon.


Patients can anticipate the following during their recuperation from tracheal shave surgery:

  • Swelling and Pain: Some swelling and pain at the incision site and in the neck region are typical side effects. In order to control any discomfort during the initial stage of recovery, the surgeon may prescribe painkillers.
  • Incision Care: Patients will be given detailed instructions on how to take care of their incisions, including how to keep them dry and clean, minimize excessive neck movement, and apply any prescribed dressing changes.
  • Rest and recovery: During the early phase of recovery, it is crucial to rest and give the body time to mend. According to the surgeon's recommendations, patients should refrain from demanding activities for many weeks, as well as heavy lifting and workouts that tax the neck muscles.
  • Follow-up Appointments: It's important to schedule several follow-up visits with the surgeon to track the healing process, get sutures removed as necessary, and ask any questions or voice any concerns.


Tracheal shave surgical outcomes are typically noticeable right away, however some initial swelling and bruising may briefly obscure the final result. The diminished prominence of the Adam's apple becomes increasingly noticeable as the healing process continues and the swelling recedes.

After tracheal shaving surgery, patients can anticipate a smoother, more contoured neck profile with a smaller or more masculine/feminine-appearing Adam's apple. The outcomes can considerably improve face harmony and support a person's journey toward gender affirmation or general self-image.

It's crucial to remember that everyone heals at a different pace, and that the full manifestation of the outcomes could take many months. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, attending follow-up appointments, and adhering to the surgeon's postoperative care recommendations will assist maximize and track the healing process.

In conclusion, the goal of tracheal shave surgery is to lessen the prominence of the Adam's apple. It is frequently desired by non-transgender people who want a smoother neck profile as well as transgender people having facial feminization or masculinization treatments. Through a small incision, the thyroid cartilage is carefully cut throughout the procedure, and the results can significantly improve face harmony and self-confidence.

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