What is a Trachea Shave Procedure?
A trachea shave procedure is known in the medical community as a chondrolaryngoplasty. During this surgery, the patient’s Adam’s apple is reduced in size by shaving down the thyroid cartilage. This procedure may be performed on patients who are self-conscious about the size of their Adam’s apple or on transgender women who are looking for a more feminine facial appearance.
Facial Feminization Surgery (FFS)
There are a number of different plastic surgeries that fall under the category of facial feminization surgeries. Each patient comes with a unique set of circumstances and desired look to achieve. The doctor will help patients to determine which FFS procedures will benefit them the most such as trachea shaves, forehead contouring and reconstruction, rhinoplasty (nose job), otoplasty (ear reshaping), lip lift, face lift, cheek and chin augmentations and others. These surgeries can be done one at a time or combined to provide a dramatic change all at one time.
How is the Procedure Performed?
The trachea shave procedure is performed by making a small incision in a wrinkle of the skin or on the upper crease of the neck. The incision location is determined by the plastic surgeon to help hide the scar as much as possible. A tiny camera is then inserted to locate the vocal cords, which must be avoided during the surgery. Once the location is marked, the thyroid cartilage is exposed and shaved down. The trachea is shaved as much as possible while still minimizing the risk of damaging the vocal cords. The incision is then closed with sutures and bandaged. The entire procedure generally takes less than one hour in the operating room.
The recovery time necessary will vary depending on whether this procedure is performed on its own or in conjunction with other procedures. The patient may have some discomfort, swelling, bruising, a sore throat and a weak voice during the first two days following the surgery. However, the discomfort experienced is usually quite minor, and pain medication is usually provided to help patients to feel more comfortable. Any voice weakness is short term, and will dissipate after a few days. Ice packs can be used on the neck after the trachea shave is performed, and patients are urged to rest their voices. The incision may be red for the first few weeks, but will gradually improve over time.
The results of a trachea shave procedure are very noticeable. The neckline will be smoother and the patient’s Adam’s apple will be much less prominent. The risk to the vocal cords is minor with plastic surgeons who are well experienced in this type of procedure. The results of this procedure are permanent, and leave the vast majority of patients extremely satisfied. It is important to find a surgeon who specializes in FFS procedures and trachea shaves to have the best results possible with the least possibilities of any negative side effects.
Many people both in and out of the transgender community are unhappy with the appearance of the Adam’s apple area of the neck. The trachea shave can help to give patients the look they desire with a minimum of recovery time necessary.