A common trait among men that distinguishes them from a female is the Adam's apple, or "laryngeal prominence" in the throat. While it is not uncommon for some women to have a more defined or developed Adam's apple, it is almost always more prominent in men. The board-certified plastic surgeons at Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery are skilled and knowledgeable to perform a number of surgeries to help men look or appear more feminine. The Adam’s apple typically develops during puberty when extra cartilage forms over the larynx (voice box). By performing a tracheal shave, our surgeons can carefully shave and reduce these thin layers without affecting the voice box. However, for men who do want to appear and sound more feminine, a significant reduction in the cartilage can cause the pitch of the voice to change to a higher, more feminine range. The amount of cartilage to be removed will be discussed ahead of time and will vary depending on the needs and goals of the patient. After a tracheal shave, patients generally see a visible reduction in their Adam’s apple and a smoother neck profile.
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To perform a chondrolaryngoplasty, the plastic surgeon makes a small horizontal incision above the larynx and pulls back the neck muscles to reveal the thyroid cartilage. The surgeon will carefully shave thin layers of the cartilage until the projection is significantly reduced. The plastic surgeon will only remove as much cartilage as possible without injuring the vocal chords, so some patients may still have a slight protrusion, but the neck will be smoother after the procedure. Once the plastic surgeon has removed the cartilage, the neck muscles and skin will be stitched back together and cleaned before the surgical area is covered with bandages.
The tracheal shave is usually performed as an outpatient surgery under local or general anesthesia. The patient will be able to leave after the procedure to recover at home, and will return for follow-up appointments at our Reston, VA plastic surgery office. Expect some bruising and swelling in the neck as well as mild pain and discomfort. Patients are advised to rest their voice as much as possible for at least three weeks after their surgery. Scar management therapy will be discussed by the plastic surgeon to help patients minimize their surgical scar during their recovery.
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Tracheal Shave FAQs
By removing layers of cartilage from the larynx, most patients will notice a change in their voice after tracheal shave surgery. The vocal register generally becomes higher and more feminine, but this will vary in each patient. If the patient wants more change, they can ask their doctor about voice surgery.
With good care during the healing process, the patient should have a minimal scar from their tracheal shave that is flat and blends into the normal skin. Patients can ask their plastic surgeon about scar care management tips and techniques, including creams and treatments that can be used to help the scar heal quickly and be less visible.
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The board-certified plastic surgeons at Austin-Weston are trained, skilled, and proficient to perform Adam's apple reduction surgery for men who desire a more feminine look. At the same time, if you are a female and were born with an oversized Adam's apple, this surgery can also help create a smoother neck so you can look and feel normal. Call our Reston, VA office to schedule your consultation and learn about the procedures we offer.