Facial feminization surgery (FFS) is a popular option for transgender women to align their physical appearance with their gender identity. One of the procedures commonly performed in this cosmetic surgery is the tracheal shave, also known as chondrolaryngoplasty. This surgery aims to reduce the size of Adam’s apple or the prominent cartilage on the front of the neck. In this blog post, we will discuss what a tracheal shave is, how it’s performed, and who should consider it.

During puberty, the larynx or voice box grows in size, which leads to a visible Adam’s apple in men. This difference is usually noticeable in transgender women, which can cause a lot of gender dysphoria. A tracheal shave helps in reducing the size of Adam’s apple by removing part of the cartilage. While there are non-invasive ways to reduce the size of Adam’s apple, surgery is the only guaranteed solution for lasting results.

The procedure for a tracheal shave lasts around 30 to 60 minutes, and it can be performed under local or general anesthesia. The surgeon makes a horizontal incision on the lower part of the Adam’s apple or the neck’s front. The cartilage protruding from the throat is then shaved down to a more feminine size. The surgeon retracts the vocal cords, carefully avoiding damage to prevent hoarseness or voice changes after the surgery. After completing the shave, the surgeon stitches up the incision with dissolvable sutures.

While a tracheal shave is a safe procedure, it is essential to be cautious when choosing a surgeon. Seek out certified surgeons and ones that have experience performing feminization surgeries. It’s also important to discuss the potential risks and complications, such as bleeding, infection, and scarring. You should also ask about the surgeon’s previous success rate, certification, and credentials.

The ideal candidates for a tracheal shave are transgender women who have already started hormone therapy or have undergone gender reassignment surgery. The surgery doesn’t require a certain age, but it is recommended to wait until the age of 18 before pursuing this procedure. Younger patients need to wait because the larynx is still growing, and it may result in vocal changes, which makes it difficult to achieve the desired results.

In conclusion, a tracheal shave or chondrolaryngoplasty is a common procedure in facial feminization surgery used to reduce the size of Adam’s apple in transgender women. The procedure is relatively simple and has a high success rate if performed by a certified surgeon with experience in feminization surgery. It typically only takes 1 hour to complete, and patients can return home the same day. If you’re a transgender woman seeking to minimize your Adam’s apple to align your body with your gender identity, it’s important to consider all aspects of the procedure, including potential risks and complications. Always seek advice from a trusted cosmetic surgeon who specialises in gender-affirming surgery to determine whether this is the right option for you.