Reducing Your Adam's Apple, or a Trachea Shave
Most people have noticed that men often have a large bump protruding from their throat, called colloquially an Adam’s apple. In most men, it is considered a sign of manhood, a marker that they have successfully passed through puberty and are now a proud member of the male species.
But some men – and occasionally some women – don’t like having an Adam’s apple, which in medical terms is called a prominentia laryngea. Either they find it too big, or if they are having gender reassignment surgery, they find it too obvious a clue that they were born male.
Luckily, there is a surgery that can get rid of the Adam’s apple, or Eve’s apple, as it is called when it is prominent in women. That surgery is called a “trachea shave”, and although many might baulk at the thought, for others it is a lifesaver.
What is an Adam’s Apple?An Adam’s apple is something most adolescent boys develop when they go through puberty. It forms part of the larynx, also known as the voice box. When those adolescent hormones start raging through a young man’s body, the larynx starts to grow and therefore protrude at a rapid pace. An Adam’s apple thus develops.
An Adam’s apple is usually accompanied by a deepening in a boy’s voice, and is a sign that they have crossed the threshold from boyhood into manhood. Girls may also experience a slight deepening of their voices when they hit puberty, but as their larynxes don’t grow so much, it’s rare they develop an Eve’s apple.
An Adam’s apple is therefore a protrusion of the larynx, which is made up of thyroid cartilage. Interestingly, some people say the origin of the word came from when Adam was in the Garden of Eden and took the apple from Eve; it then got stuck in his throat.
A Trachea ShavePeople who want to reduce the size of their Adam’s apple and make it appear less prominent often opt for a trachea shave, which also goes by the names Adam’s Apple reduction, facial feminisation surgery or chondrolaryngoplasty. This procedure today is most common amongst individuals who are opting for gender reassignment surgery, or who want to change their gender from male to female, although occasionally women have it as well.
The procedure is really fairly simple. A surgeon will make a slit in the patient’s throat, then remove some of the offending cartilage, in effect reducing the size of the “apple”. Often the operation is carried out in conjunction with other gender reassignment procedures, so general anaesthesia is used.
The surgeon must be skilled in performing this specific elective procedure, as there are potential complications. If the cut is too shallow the bump will still be obvious; if it’s too deep the vocal chords can be damaged.
Other Facial Feminisation SurgeriesA trachea shave is not the only type of facial feminisation surgery, or FFS, available. While occasionally these procedures are sought by women who feel they look too masculine, the majority of people opting for them are men making the transition from male to female.
Other types of FFS include soft and bony tissue surgery of the face and neck, jaw surgery to make the jaw appear more rounded and less masculine, hair removal and hair transplants. Gender reassignment surgeries on other parts of the body can include:
- Breast enlargement, to make the breasts fuller and rounder.
- Hip curvature, to make the body appear more feminine.
- Vaginaplasty and labioplasty, to create a realistic vagina and labia.
Potential Complications from a Trachea ShaveMost people experience no complications after the surgery, although any type of surgery has its own risks, especially those involving general anaesthesia. Some patients may experience a slightly croaky voice immediately afterwards, but assuming the vocal chords were not damaged, this should disappear soon. A small scar may also be visible. Rubbing the scar with Vitamin E cream can help make it less unsightly.
As with any elective surgery, it’s necessary to weigh up the pros and cons before setting out. And make sure you use only a Board-certified and qualified plastic surgeon, probably one who has carried out gender reassignment procedures countless times in the past.