The voice box cartilage has laryngeal prominence, which is known as thyroid cartilage. The cartilage protrudes outward and forms Adam's apple. The size varies from person to person. Men have more prominent Adam's apple than women because of the high testosterone, which contributes to the development of laryngeal cartilage. Weight also contributes to the appearance of Adam's apple. A thin neck and small amount of body fat have more visible laryngeal prominence when compared to people having thick neck and who weigh more.
The tracheal shave or Adam's apple shave is one of the most common procedures performed in facial feminization surgery treatment plans. The main aim of the procedure is to give neck and throat a more feminine appearance by shaving or reducing Adam's apple. In a nutshell, Tracheal Shaving is the removal of thyroid cartilage from the front of the larynx. Everyone has a small amount of cartilage to protect the vocal cords. During puberty, due to hormonal changes, this cartilage grows and forms a bump, which causes the voice to become deeper.
The procedure is suitable for transgender women or gender-expansive patients having prominent Adam's apple. Individuals seeking the procedure should have good overall health. Should have realistic expectations from the procedure and should have an optimistic mindset for the procedure. Procedure
The tracheal shave is a simple but delicate procedure. First, the surgeon will check how much cartilage he/she can remove from the larynx without damaging the vocal cords which lie beneath Adam's apple. To ensure this, a needle is placed from outside to the inside of the thyroid cartilage right up to the level the cartilage needs to be removed. With the help of an endoscope it is checked if the needle reaches the vocal cords or not. This is an accurate method for shaving Adam's apple.
The procedure is performed under general or local anesthesia. An incision of around 2 cms is made under the chin. The surgeon can hide the incision inside a crease below the chin area. From here, a small tunnel is created to get to the thyroid cartilage. The prominence and the superior border is reduced using a surgical scalpel within safe parameters. The incision is then sutured back, and the site of the incision is covered by compression dressing.
For most of the patients, Adam's apple shave is a pain-free process. There is redness, bruising, and swelling near the incision site, so it's important that the patient follows the doctor's instructions to clean the sutured incision. The patient may complain of difficulty in swallowing after the surgery, so he/she should be given soft foods.
There may be a noticeable scar or not will depend on many things like the skill of the surgeon, the biological tendency of the patient to form a scar tissue, and the care of the incision site after the stitches are removed.
To reduce the chances of a scar, it's important to choose the surgeon carefully. Dr. Parag Telang is the ideal plastic surgeon to perform this procedure.
Due to advanced medical techniques being introduced, complications from the procedure are very rare. While performing the procedure, it should be remembered that enlarged thyroid cartilage is what makes the voice pitch to drop. There can be an injury to the vocal cords which are placed just beneath Adam's apple. An aggressive reduction of the cartilage may damage the insertion point of the vocal cord. To avoid the injury to the vocal cord, needle localization is performed. This includes placing a needle at the site from where the cartilage needs to be shaved. Needle's end is then localized from the inside to ensure that the vocal cords are safely located above the laryngeal cartilage.
With the availability of new techniques, the complications of the tracheal shave have reduced significantly. New advances have made postoperative recovery fast and painless for the patient.
Dr. Parag Telang is a renowned plastic surgeon who has years of experience and expertise in his work. His personalized care and surgical expertise is what make him a most appreciated plastic surgeon. He discusses the procedure with his patients prior to surgery and works very hard to get the desired results.
Monday to Saturday : 8:30 AM to 9:00 PMSunday Closed