Adam’s Apple Shaving
The Adam’s apple is the protruding cartilage that is found at the front of the male neck. In most instances, it is visible and is often used as a means of determining gender, which is why many transgender surgical patients wish to have this removed.
The procedure to remove the Adam’s apple is called tracheal shaving or Adam’s apple shaving. It is a standard surgery that is part of the facial feminization process.
The procedure can be performed with local or general anesthesia on an outpatient basis. It is usually recommended to have this done as early as possible as the calcium in the Adam's Apple slowly becomes hard bone after the age of 30 making the tracheal shaving procedure a little more difficult.
Methods for Tracheal Shaving
There are two potential methods for Tracheal Shaving. The surgeon and patient will discuss which is best suited to them based on their physical examination.
- The Open Technique – In this technique, a small incision or a horizontal incision is made between the neck and the chin to hide any potential scar. The surgeon will then cut into the cartilage of the Adam’s apple (also known as Laryngeal Prominent) and reduce the height of Adam’s apple as much as possible. Once this is done, stitches are made inside using absorbable stitches. Stitches are also done on the outside with a sterile strip. This procedure takes roughly one hour.
- The Endoscopic Technique – This method is usually preferred whenever possible as it is scarless. The surgeon gets to the Adam’s apple for reduction through the mouth using an endoscope. The Adam's apple is then shaved down as much as possible. This procedure also lasts for roughly one hour.
Ideal Candidates for Adam’s Apple Shaving
Unlike some of the other procedures, the requirements for a good tracheal shave candidate are not extensive. Candidates for this surgery are transwomen who have a visible Laryngeal Prominence (Adam’s apple), are in good physical health, and have realistic expectations discussed thoroughly with their doctors.
Preparing for Tracheal Shave
Before the tracheal shave procedure patients need to do the following:
- Attend all consultations with a surgeon who is specialized in the tracheal shave procedure.
- Stop smoking for a minimum of two weeks before the procedure.
- Stop all medications that interfere with blood clotting like Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and some herbs, vitamins, and supplements.
The Tracheal Shave Procedure
This is a relatively simple procedure.
- It is performed under local anesthesia
- Surgeon will choose a technique that is best suited to the patient. This will be either the Open technique or the Endoscopic technique
- Sutures will be utilized once the shave is completed.
After completing Adam’s apple shaving surgery, these are important reminders for patients.
- No smoking and alcoholic beverages for at least a week after surgery.
- Don’t eat salty food to help minimize any potential swelling.
- Ensure that the wound is clean at all times.
- Don’t talk for the first few days after the procedure.
- Take pain medication as needed. A cold compress may also be used for pain.
- Elevate head for roughly 1-2 weeks post-surgery to prevent swelling and promote incision healing.
- Keep all follow-up appointments.
- Avoid any strenuous or physical activities.
The surgeon would likely provide medical advice following thyroid cartilage reduction to help achieve patient satisfaction and prevent any further risks or complications. The final result or outcome of thyroid cartilage reduction can be seen one month later.
Risks/Complications Associated with Tracheal Shave
Risks are rare but some potential risks of tracheal shave include:
Rare complications include:
- Possible neck pains
- Redness of wound area (temporary)
- Voice change (temporary)
Patients who experience continuous high fever or breathing problems are advised to seek medical attention immediately.
Questions To Ask Plastic Surgeons Before Adam's Apple Reduction Surgery or Facial Feminization Surgery in Bangkok, Thailand
Highly skilled surgeons and physicians will take care to answer every question that a patient may pose before and after performing any procedures. It is often advised for a patient to list the questions on a paper in advance of the consultation.
Some key questions to ask surgeons before adam's apple reduction include:
- Are you a board-certified plastic surgeon?
- How many years of experience do you have in cosmetic surgery?
- Do you have specific experiences with performing plastic surgery on transgender women?
- Are the results I am seeking realistic?
- What are the limitations of adam's apple reduction surgical procedure?
- Will there be a noticeable scar?
- Will there be permanent damage after tracheal shaves?
- Would I need pain medications to relieve pain during my recovery period? If so, until when would I need to take pain medication?
- What is the treatment plan?
- Would I have difficulty swallowing?
- Would thyroid cartilage reduction significantly minimize the appearance of the Adam's apple?