Adam’s Apple Reduction Surgery (Trachea Shave)

This surgery reduces the appearance of the Adam's apple.

Last modified: October 12, 2011

Benjamin Roussey
Medical Research Editor

and Contributing Writer

Adam’s Apple Reduction Surgery (Trachea Shave)

An Adam’s apple reduction surgery (or trachea shave) is an operation of the thyroid cartilage, which is reduced in size to give a more delicate, feminine appearance. Male to female gender reassignment patients often undergo this procedure during their transition. The thyroid cartilage is shaved down with a two to three centimeter incision in length, and the patient can be under either local or general anesthesia. Considering the precise nature of the surgery, Adam’s apple reduction surgery needs to be performed by a specialist. This is especially true for those who have developed hard cartilage due to age. Adam’s apple reduction surgery lasts for about an hour.

A Good Candidate for Adam’s Apple Reduction Surgery (Trachea Shave)

Both male and female candidates with an enlarged Adam’s apple can undergo this operation, since an Adam’s apple is present in both genders. Though this feature is more prominent in men, any female who has a protruding Adam’s apple can opt for this surgery as well. The best part of Adam’s apple reduction surgery is that the results are permanent, without any visible scarring.

Preparing for Adam’s Apple Reduction Surgery (Trachea Shave)

•    Laboratory tests, evaluation of the medical history of the patient and physical examination are conducted prior to surgery
•    X-rays, and blood and urine tests may be taken
•    Patients should avoid taking anticoagulants, hormones, steroids or anti-inflammatory drugs at least four to six weeks prior to the surgery
•    Smoking has to be stopped at least three to four weeks prior to surgery as it interferes with recovery
•    Drinking alcohol also has to be stopped at least a week before the surgery and also during the healing period

Recovering from Adam’s Apple Reduction Surgery (Trachea Shave)

Since Adam’s apple reduction surgery is fairly easy, recovery does not take too long, approximately seven to ten days. Following surgery, patients generally experience discomfort similar to a simple sore throat. For the first two to three days, a piece of gauze will cover the incision and for about five days after that, you may experience a burning sensation or difficulty talking and swallowing food or liquids. The ability to talk loudly is also reduced for the recovery period after surgery.

Post-Operative Care for Adam’s Apple Reduction Surgery (Trachea Shave)

•    Rest is crucial after surgery and patients should avoid singing or shouting for at least two weeks following the operation
•    Some surgeons may prescribe topical applications such as Vitamin E oil or antibiotic ointments to aid recovery
•    The wound must be dressed daily, and stitches need to be kept dry
•    A red scar will appear at the point of incision, which will lighten over a few months
•    Swelling will reduce after a week or two, but patients can apply ice packs for a few days to reduce the inflammation
•    Immediately after surgery, voice weakness, lowering of pitch, swelling and hoarseness may be experienced
•    Avoid electrolysis around the incision until the surgeon says it is safe to do so

Risks and Side Effects of Adam’s Apple Reduction Surgery (Trachea Shave)

Since Adam’s apple reduction surgery (trachea shave) is a delicate surgery it has to be done by a professional, most likely a plastic surgeon, or an ear nose and throat doctor. Otherwise, complications such as a permanent change in voice quality, over dissection of the cartilage, injury to vocal cords, hematoma, or infection can occur.

Cost of Adam’s Apple Reduction Surgery (Trachea Shave)

The cost of Adam’s apple reduction surgery (trachea shave) varies depending upon the complexity of the operation, the anesthetic agent administered, and the location of the surgery. The fees for the anesthetic and surgery are mostly paid in advance. This is probably even more expected if the surgery is performed outside your home country or the U.S.

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