Tracheal Shave / Adam’s Apple Reduction

The Adam’s apple, scientifically known as the laryngeal prominence, is a prominent structure in the neck that can vary in size and shape among individuals.

Adams Apple Reduction, also referred to as Chondrolaryngoplasty, tracheal shave or thyroid cartilage reduction is a surgical procedure designed to address the size or prominence of the Adam’s apple. While individuals may have different motivations for considering this procedure, understanding its intricacies is crucial for making an informed decision.

We understand that undergoing any surgical procedure is a significant decision, and it is essential to be well-informed. By exploring the comprehensive information provided below, you can gain a deeper understanding of Adams Apple Reduction and make an educated choice that aligns with your personal goals and aspirations.

What is the Adams Apple?

The Adam’s apple, also known as the laryngeal prominence, is a visible protrusion in the neck area that is more prominent in males than females. It is formed by the thyroid cartilage, which is part of the larynx or voice box. The primary function of the Adam’s apple is to protect the vocal cords and assist in voice modulation.

The size and prominence of the Adam’s apple can vary among individuals, and it is typically more prominent during puberty when the larynx undergoes growth and development. In males, the increase in size is more significant, resulting in a more visible Adam’s apple compared to females.

The Adam’s apple itself does not serve a vital physiological purpose however, for individuals who are uncomfortable with the size or appearance of their Adam’s apple, medical interventions such as Adams Apple Reduction surgery can be considered.

LARYNGOPLASTY Patient 1Dr Stephen Kleid Melbourne - Adams apple

Adam’s Apple Reduction Before and After Gallery

See more of Dr Stephen Kleid’s previous nose surgery patients before and after surgery

Adams apple

Am I a good candidate for Adam’s apple reduction?

Adams Apple Reduction, is also known as MTF Adam’s apple surgery and is often sought by individuals undergoing male-to-female transition. However, it is important to note that this procedure is not exclusive to transgender individuals and can be pursued by anyone, (regardless of gender identity), who desires a reduction in the prominence of their Adam’s apple.

Good candidates for Adam’s apple reduction include both men and women who want to change the prominence of their Adam’s apple. This can be particularly relevant for individuals with long, thin necks, as the prominence may be more noticeable in such cases.

It is crucial for candidates to have a thorough understanding of the procedure and hold realistic expectations. They should be aware of the potential outcomes, risks, and limitations associated with Adams Apple Reduction.

Consulting with a qualified surgeon is essential to assess candidacy and discuss individual goals, ensuring that the procedure aligns with their expectations and desires.

The Procedure

snoring and sleep apnoea surgery

During the procedure, you will be placed under general anesthesia. The surgeon will then make a small incision in the skin crease below the chin or in the natural crease above the Adam’s apple, depending on the technique chosen.

The two common techniques used for Adam’s apple reduction are the tracheal shave and thyroid cartilage resection.

Tracheal Shave

This technique is the most common approach for Adams Apple Reduction. It involves making a small horizontal incision in the natural crease just above the Adam’s apple. Through this incision, the surgeon will carefully access the thyroid cartilage and reduce its size by shaving or trimming the excess cartilage. The incision is then closed with sutures, and the scar is typically discreet and hidden within the natural contours of the neck.

Thyroid Cartilage Resection

In some cases, when a more significant reduction is required, the surgeon may opt for a more extensive procedure. This technique involves making an incision either horizontally or vertically along the midline of the neck to expose the thyroid cartilage. The surgeon will then remove a portion of the cartilage to reduce the prominence of the Adam’s apple. The incision is closed with sutures, and proper care is taken to ensure an aesthetically pleasing outcome.

The duration of the procedure typically ranges from 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the complexity and individual requirements. The incision sites are strategically chosen to minimize visible scarring, and the scars tend to be discreet. Additionally, the incisions are designed in a way that they do not adhere to the underlying cartilage, allowing for natural movement during speaking and swallowing.

It is essential to note that the choice of surgical technique may vary based on factors such as the patient’s anatomy, desired outcome, and the surgeon’s expertise. During a consultation, Dr Kleid will thoroughly assess your condition, discuss your goals, and recommend the most suitable technique to achieve optimal results while prioritizing your safety and satisfaction.

Recovery after Adams Apple Reduction

After the Adams Apple Reduction procedure, your safety and well-being are of utmost importance. Depending on the existent of the procedure, you may either stay overnight in the hospital or remain under observation for at least 8 hours, before you are able to go home. This allows Dr Kleid to closely monitor you for any signs of intra-laryngeal swelling or breathing difficulties, ensuring a safe recovery.

In terms of post-operative care, there are no specific restrictions or special instructions apart from keeping the dressing dry for the initial three days. Following this period, you can safely shower and allow the dressing to get wet without any concerns.

It’s important to note that this procedure does not typically result in a change in voice. However, some patients may experience mild gruffness for a few weeks, which is temporary and resolves over time.

In terms of discomfort, Adams Apple Reduction is generally well-tolerated, and the pain level is typically manageable (however, everyone experiences pain differently). You may experience some soreness while swallowing, which can be alleviated by consuming soft foods during the healing process.

One of the significant advantages of this procedure is that the results are visible almost immediately, even with the dressing in place.

Dr Kleid and his team will provide you with comprehensive post-operative care instructions and ensure that you have the necessary support and guidance throughout your recovery journey.

Risks and complications of Adam’s Apple Reduction

As with any surgical procedure, Adams Apple Reduction surgery carries potential risks and complications, although they are generally rare. It’s important to have a comprehensive understanding of these risks before making a decision. Some potential risks and complications associated with Adams Apple Reduction surgery include:

  • Bleeding:
    • There is a small risk of bleeding during or after the procedure. While uncommon, excessive bleeding may require further medical intervention.
  • Infection:
    • Although uncommon, there is a risk of infection at the surgical site.
    • Proper preoperative preparation and postoperative care can help minimize this risk.
  • Scarring:
    • While efforts are made to minimize visible scarring, there is always a possibility of noticeable scarring, especially in individuals with a predisposition to abnormal scarring.
  • Nerve damage:
    • The surgery involves working around delicate nerves in the neck area, and there is a small risk of nerve damage, which could result in temporary or permanent changes in sensation or movement.
  • Swelling and bruising:
    • It is common to experience some degree of swelling and bruising after the surgery.
    • This usually resolves over time but may take several weeks to subside completely.
  • Asymmetry:
    • In rare cases, there may be slight asymmetry or unevenness in the results.
    • This can occur due to variations in healing or individual anatomical factors.
  • Dissatisfaction with results:
    • While Adams Apple Reduction surgery generally yields positive outcomes, there is a possibility of not achieving the desired results.
    • It’s crucial to have realistic expectations and thorough communication with your surgeon to ensure mutual understanding of the expected outcome.

It’s important to note that these risks and complications are relatively rare, and the majority of individuals who undergo Adams Apple Reduction surgery experience successful outcomes with minimal complications. Dr Kleid will discuss these risks in detail during your consultation and take all necessary precautions to minimize the likelihood of complications and ensure a safe and satisfactory surgical experience.

What is the cost of Adams Apple Reduction?

The cost of Adams Apple Reduction surgery can vary depending on several factors, including the geographical location, the surgeon’s experience and expertise, the specific techniques used, the complexity of the procedure, and any additional fees associated with anesthesia, surgical facility, and post-operative care.

It is advisable to consult with a qualified surgeon who specializes in Adams Apple Reduction to get an accurate cost estimate tailored to your specific needs and circumstances. During your consultation, the surgeon will assess your individual case and provide you with a detailed breakdown of the expected costs involved in the procedure.

It’s also important to consider that health insurance coverage for Adams Apple Reduction surgery may vary. Some insurance plans may cover the procedure if it is deemed medically necessary, such as for individuals undergoing gender transition. It’s recommended to check with your insurance provider to understand the coverage and any associated requirements.

Ultimately, the cost of Adams Apple Reduction surgery should be weighed against the potential benefits and your personal goals for the procedure. It’s crucial to choose a qualified and experienced surgeon who prioritizes patient safety and satisfaction to ensure the best possible outcome.


Further reading

Why Choose Dr Kleid for Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery?

Dr Stephen Kleid
Ear Nose and Throat Surgeon (Otolaryngologist)

Masada Medical Centre
26 Balaclava Road,
East St Kilda, Victoria

Dr Stephen Kleid is an experienced Ear, Nose and Throat ENT Surgeon (Otolaryngologist) based in St Kilda.

Dr Kleid’s Procedures

How can we help?

Dr Kleid’s Team takes pleasure in assisting you with any questions when considering ENT surgery. Please call the Masada in Melbourne between 9 am – 5 pm on Weekdays.

Phone Masada Hospital 03 9038 1630 or Email Dr Kleid


The information presented in this article is provided solely for educational and informational purposes. It is not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with your physician or qualified healthcare provider regarding any medical condition or concerns you may have. Do not disregard or delay seeking professional medical advice based on the information provided in this article. The author and publisher of this article do not warrant the accuracy, applicability, or completeness of the content, and any reliance on the information presented is at your own discretion and risk.