Trachea Shave

Overview of the surgery: 

Adam’s Apple Shaving is also known as Trachea Shave is a surgical procedure in which the thyroid cartilage is reduced in size by 

shaving down the cartilage to achieve a more feminine appearance. The procedure can be done as an out patient surgery under local anesthesia or under a general anesthesia. The incision is usually 2-3 cm in length. The surgeon makes a horizontal incision at the highest crease of the skin on the throat below submental (chin) area then the vertical muscles in the throat are separated to expose the cartilage.  The thyroid cartilage is reduced, usually by shaving in the most prominent area and the rim of its upper border. The thyroid cartilage contouring is a delicate process and need to be done meticulously especially for those who have calcified (hard) cartilage due to aging process. 

Preparation prior to surgery: 

 Assessment of the medical history (any allergies, serious medical condition and all 

medications taken both prescribed and non-prescribed), physical examination, and laboratory 

tests will be performed during consultation. 

 Blood and urine samples will be collected for routine preoperative laboratory tests. X-rays 

may be taken to evaluate the individual's bone structure. 

 Smoking must be avoided for about 3-4 weeks prior to surgery, as nicotine interferes with 

circulation and will greatly affect healing process. 

 You will likely to be asked to stop drinking alcohol, a week before the surgery and throughout 

your recovery period. 

 Avoid taking any medications such as hormones, anticoagulants, anabolic steroids and 

supplements at least 4-6 weeks to prevent complicating medical factors prior to surgery. 

Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase 


Operation time: 

The feminization of the Adam’s apple (trachea shave) takes about 1 hour 

Types of anesthesia use: 

 Adam’s apple removal is done under general anesthesia, with other procedures of facial feminization surgery, or alone under local anesthesia 

Hospital admission: 

This procedure may be performed in the cosmetic surgeon’s office-based facility, an outpatient 

surgery center, or at a hospital. This procedure is usually done on an outpatient basis 

Care  after surgery: 

 During the first 24- 48 hours, patient may experience some varying degrees of swelling and 

temporary mild voice weakness that includes lowering of pitch and hoarseness following 


 Apply ice pack to the surgical site for a couple of days to gradually decrease swelling. Swelling 

will subside over 1-2 weeks and bruising resolves in 1-3 weeks. 

 Patient must rest voice following surgery. Avoid shouting or singing for 2 weeks after surgery. 

 The procedure leaves a prominent red scar that lightens over 1-3 months. 

 Patient will have stitches often supplemented by surgical tape or butterfly bandages for a few 


 Wound dressing is performed daily. Stitches and tape must be kept dry at all times. 

 Patient must avoid electrolysis immediately around the incision until surgeon recommends it 

to continue. 

 Application of antibiotic ointments, vitamin E oil, or other topical preparations is prescribed 

by some surgeons to aid healing process. 

Recovery period: 

A piece of gauze will cover the incision for the first 2 or 3 days after Adam’s apple reduction. For about 

7 to 10 days you will probably have a burning sensation and some difficulties when swallowing or 

talking. Patients who underwent Adam's apple removal report that the post op sensation is very 

similar to a simple sore throat, including a reduction in the ability to speak loudly. 

Risks and complications: 

Complications include permanent change in vocal quality which is the result of too much revision or 

over dissection of the cartilage that may injure the vocal cords, infection may also occur and