The Tracheal Shave: Why All the Fuss With Adam & His Apple?

Learn about transgender procedures at Visage Clinic in Toronto

Tracheal shave. Adam’s apple reduction. Smooth neck. Longer neck.

These are common names for a procedure I perform often for both males with very prominent Adam’s apple and also for trans-female patients. Toronto and its surrounding communities have a strong transgender community, so the tracheal shave is a common request at my practice.

When MTF (male-to-female) transgender surgery patients are looking at various options for feminizing their faces and bodies, a tracheal shave is often on their list for “FFS,” or facial feminization surgery, along with nasal tip refinement, brow lift, frontal bossing reduction, lip and cheek enhancement, and jawline contouring.

 

Shaving of the Adam’s apple is also a common request from men with very prominent thyroid cartilage. A small amount of cartilage is a masculine feature for alpha males, but a very large Adam’s apple in a male with thin neck is not necessarily considered very attractive.

toronto transgender surgery, toronto tracheal shave

Toronto Dr. Marc DuPere’s patient, Before and After

For trans-female patients, a thick and prominent thyroid cartilage is an unfortunate reminder of their past, and for this reason, I commonly will recommend shaving and softening the cartilage so the neck is nice and smooth, also giving the illusion of a longer and more feminine neck.

The incision for the tracheal shave is under the chin. I prefer to hide the small scar under the chin as opposed to over the cartilage itself so the final small scar is not visible when facing someone. Via this small incision, I can dissect down to the cartilage, carefully retracting the neck veins and also the small strap muscles needed for swallowing. Once I reach the cartilage, I gently carve, sculpt, and shave the prominent part of the Adam’s apple. With the help of a small surgical burring drill, I also polish all the edges for a very smooth result.

Care is required as to not over-resect the cartilage as the airway and the vocal cords are on the other side. I find it important to have a CT scan on hand to address the variable thickness of this cartilage and to safely guide me for the optimal amount of shaving. I also commonly request images of the frontal bones with the same CT examination as frontal bossing reduction is also a very common FFS procedure.

A tracheal shave is a very gratifying procedure for our patients who feel self-conscious with a large, prominent, and often masculinizing thyroid cartilage. If you have questions about this transformative procedure, leave them in a comment below.

4 Responses to The Tracheal Shave: Why All the Fuss With Adam & His Apple?

  1. Jade braddock says:

    Hello, I live in Victoria bc and I’m considering coming to Toronto for the tracheal shave. I have a very minor one, but enough that it bothers me. What is the over all cost for the surgery and is it done with local or general anesthetic.

    • Dr. Marc DuPéré says:

      Hi Jade,

      Welcome to Visage Clinic!

      Shaving of the Adam’s apple (tracheal shave) is a common procedure I perform, either for males who want a smaller Adam’s apple or for my trans-gendered MTF patients.

      Tracheal shave is often a single procedure but can be combined with other things. It is a small incision under the chin and above the Adam’s apple and and the incision is really hard to see once healed. It is done under general anesthesia (better protection of your airways when I am working around your trachea) but it is day-surgery.

      Some patients add a bit of liposuction to the neck if required. Some others add either a chin augmentation with implants or a chin reduction, or a neck lift – depending on their anatomy and the look they are looking for -, since I use the same incision.

      We do offer SKYPE-Camera, should you be interested, since you live far away – sending me a few pictures to my email first would help (since you live far away).

      We have 2 offices: maps can be at: https://www.visageclinic.com/about/locations.cfm

      Flagship Toronto Clinic: 133 Hazelton Avenue, suite 101, Yorkville.
      Richmond Hill – 13311 Yonge Street, suite 114.

      There is more information on the following websites:

      http://www.visageclinic.com
      http://www.facebook.com/VisageClinic
      http://www.twitter.com/VisageClinic
      http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=87088670&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile_pic

      My assistants will be happy to find a time and day convenient for your visit. They can be reached at 416.929.9800.

      I will send you more infos to your email.

      We look forward to meeting you,

      Best regards,

      Dr. Marc DuPéré, plastic surgeon

  2. K. J. says:

    Hi, I am a MTF and have a few questions regarding this surgery. I am planning on having it as my first surgery.

    I plan to eventually get Voice Feminization Surgery, but should that surgery be done before or after a Tracheal shave?

    What is the recovery time like? Will I be able to drive home after this surgery or should I plan to stay in a hotel for some recovery time?

    Will there be any visible swelling or stitches after this surgery? How long until swelling goes down?

    Do you have any photos of any completed tracheal shaves?

    Thank you for your time

    • Dr. Marc DuPéré says:

      Good day and thank you for your interest in our clinic!

      Shaving of the Adam’s apple (tracheal shave) is a common procedure I perform, either for males who want a smaller Adam’s apple or for my transgendered MTF patients.

      Please know we do offer SKYPE-Camera for our out-of-town patients.

      As you likely know, I also work extensively with Transgendered patients, both MTF and FTM, and started almost 15 years ago. I do all surgeries related to face, neck, including Adam’s apple (FFS), body contouring and body implants (breasts, pectorals, buttocks, hips, calves), top surgery, liposuction, etc.

      If interested, I wrote a recent blog on some of the surgical techniques I do for Facial Feminization Surgery:

      http://www.visageclinic.com/blog/what-is-facial-feminization-surgery-aka-ffs/

      Tracheal shave is often a single procedure but can be combined with other things. It is a small incision under the chin and above the Adam’s apple and the incision is really hard to see once healed. It is done under general anesthesia and it is day-surgery. I normally request a CT scan of your upper trachea to address the current thickness of your cartilage to guide me as too how much cartilage I can safely remove.

      The surgery takes about 90 minutes, under general anesthesia. Slight swelling and occasional bruising for 1-2 weeks. Stitches in place for one week. Facial garment for also one week or so. Most patients return to school or work within 10-14 days.

      As for the voice component, there is no formal rule and either one can be done first. My surgery is more “external” and the voice surgery’s “internal”.

      It would be advised to stay one night in Toronto prior to returning home if you live far away. Stitches can then be removed one week later by us or by your local family doctor.

      I will email you more details!

      I look forward to meeting you!

      Dr. D.

Leave a Reply

Fields marked with * are required.