Tracheal Shave – Adam’s Apple Surgery

Adam’s Apple Surgery with Dr Michael Kernohan in Sydney

When considering altering your physical appearance, it’s important to gather all the facts about the procedure you’re interested in. One such procedure that has gained attention for its ability to refine the contours of the neck is the Tracheal Shave, commonly referred to as Adam’s Apple Surgery.

The Adam’s Apple, clinically known as the laryngeal prominence, is a feature that’s more pronounced in men and is due to the growth of the thyroid cartilage around the larynx during puberty. Whether you’re considering this surgery for aesthetic reasons or as part of a gender transition, Tracheal Shave surgery presents itself as a solution for a more contoured neck profile.

Sydney Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Michael Kernohan performs gender affirmation surgery, including Top Surgery and Facial Feminisation Surgery.

What is Tracheal Shave – Adam’s Apple Surgery?

Tracheal Shave, or Adam’s Apple Surgery, is a surgical procedure designed to reduce the size of the thyroid cartilage that forms the Adam’s Apple. This procedure is often sought by individuals who feel that the prominence of their Adam’s Apple does not align with their desired neck profile.

The goal of a Tracheal Shave is not just to reduce the size of the Adam’s Apple but to do so in a way that maintains the integrity of the voice box and the quality of the voice. It’s a delicate balance that requires a skilled plastic surgeon familiar with the intricacies of the neck’s anatomy.

Benefits of the Tracheal Shave Procedure

Opting for a Tracheal Shave can offer a range of benefits. Here are some of the potential advantages of this procedure:

  • A smooth neck contour: A less prominent Adam’s Apple can lead to a smoother neck contour
  • Alignment with Gender Identity: For transgender women and some non-binary individuals, reducing the size of the Adam’s Apple can be an important step in aligning their physical appearance with their gender identity
  • Minimal Scarring: As the incisions are small and strategically placed, scarring is typically minimal and can often be concealed in natural skin folds
  • Quick Procedure and Recovery: The procedure itself is relatively quick, and recovery time is generally short, with many patients returning to their normal activities within a week
  • Increased Comfort: Some individuals may experience physical discomfort from a prominent Adam’s Apple, such as irritation from tight clothing. Tracheal Shave surgery can alleviate this discomfort

It’s important to have realistic expectations and to discuss potential outcomes with Dr Kernohan. The benefits can be significant, but they must be weighed against the risks and the individual’s personal circumstances.

Is Tracheal Shave Right for Me?

Deciding to undergo a Tracheal Shave is a personal decision that should be made after careful consideration. Here are some factors to help you determine if this procedure might be right for you:

  • Aesthetic Desires: If you’re unhappy with the prominence of your Adam’s Apple and desire a smoother neck line, this procedure could be suitable for you
  • Gender Transition: For transgender women, a Tracheal Shave can be a critical step in the transition process, helping to feminise the neck profile
  • Physical Discomfort: If your Adam’s Apple causes you physical discomfort or irritation, you might consider the surgery for relief
  • Good Health: Ideal candidates are in good overall health, do not smoke, and have no medical conditions that could impair healing or increase surgery risks
  • Realistic Expectations: Understanding what the surgery can and cannot achieve is crucial

It’s also important to consider your support system and whether you have the necessary time to dedicate to recovery. Consulting with a qualified plastic surgeon who has experience in performing Tracheal Shaves is essential to making an informed decision.

How is the Tracheal Shave Procedure Performed

If you’re considering a Tracheal Shave, it’s natural to wonder about the specifics of the operation. Knowing what the procedure involves can help you feel more prepared and at ease. So, let’s walk through the steps of how this surgery is carried out.

Firstly, you’ll have a detailed consultation with Dr Michael Kernohan. He’ll explain the process and answer any questions you might have. Once you’re ready to go ahead, here’s what generally happens:

  • Preparation: On the day of the surgery, you’ll be prepped in the treatment area. This means you’ll be dressed in a surgical gown, and the neck area will be cleaned and sterilised to reduce the risk of infection
  • Anaesthesia: You’ll receive anaesthesia, which might be local (numbing the neck area only) with sedation, or general (you’ll be asleep). This ensures you won’t feel any pain during the procedure
  • The Incision: Dr Kernohan makes a careful cut, usually under the chin where it’s less visible. This allows them access to the thyroid cartilage, which is the part they’ll be working on
  • Reshaping the Cartilage: With precision, Dr Kernohan shaves down the cartilage to reduce the size of the Adam’s Apple. He’ll remove just enough to achieve the look you’ve agreed on
  • Finishing Up: Once the cartilage is reshaped, Dr Kernohan stitches the incision. These stitches might dissolve on their own over time, or you might need to come back to have them taken out
  • Recovery: After the surgery, you’ll spend a short time in a recovery room where the team will keep an eye on you as the anaesthesia wears off. You’ll be able to head home the same day, in most cases

The entire procedure usually takes about an hour. It’s a specialised surgery, but when done by an experienced plastic surgeon, it’s straightforward. Post-surgery, you’ll be given specific instructions to care for the incision site and manage any discomfort. It’s important to follow these to the letter to help your recovery go smoothly.

Recovery after Tracheal Shave Procedure

After you’ve had your Tracheal Shave procedure, the road to recovery begins. It’s a journey that requires patience and a bit of care, but it’s not overly complicated. Here’s what you can expect and what you’ll need to do:

  • Directly After Surgery: When you wake up from the anaesthesia, you’ll likely feel groggy. You’ll be in a recovery area where staff will monitor you as you come round from the sedation. Once you’re alert and the medical team is happy with your vital signs, you’ll be allowed to go home. Remember, you won’t be able to drive yourself, so make sure you’ve arranged for someone to take you home
  • First Few Days: You might notice some swelling and bruising around the neck area; this is normal. To ease this, you can apply cold packs as directed by your surgeon. You’ll also need to keep your head elevated, even when sleeping, to help reduce swelling
  • Pain Management: If you’re in discomfort, over-the-counter pain relief should be enough to help you manage. Always take medications as directed by Dr Kernohan
  • Wound Care: You’ll have to keep the incision site clean and dry. Your plastic surgeon will give you instructions on how to do this and when you can start showering again
  • Activity Level: Take it easy for the first week or so. No heavy lifting or vigorous exercise until Dr Kernohan gives you the all-clear. Gentle walks are beneficial and can help with the healing process
  • Eating and Drinking: Stick to soft foods if your throat feels sore. Stay hydrated with plenty of water
  • Follow-Up Appointments: You’ll have appointments to check on your healing progress. If you have non-dissolvable stitches, they’ll be removed during one of these visits
  • Voice Rest: You may be advised to rest your voice for a few days post-surgery to allow the vocal cords to recover fully
  • Healing Time: Everyone’s body heals differently, but most people find they can return to work and their usual activities within a week or two

Following Dr Kernohan’s advice is key to a smooth recovery. If you have any concerns during your recovery, don’t hesitate to contact your surgeon’s office. They’re there to help you through this period and will want to ensure everything is healing as it should be.

Risks of Tracheal Shave Procedure

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with a Tracheal Shave. Some of these risks include:

  • Scarring: Although the incision is typically small and placed in a less visible area, there is a risk of noticeable scarring
  • Infection: As with any surgery, there is a risk of infection at the incision site
  • Voice Changes: There is a risk of voice alteration due to the proximity of the surgery to the vocal cords, although this is rare when performed by an experienced plastic surgeon
  • Asymmetry: There’s a possibility of asymmetrical results, which may require revision surgery
  • Sensation Changes: Some patients may experience temporary or permanent changes in sensation in the area of the incision

Discussing these risks with Dr Kernohan will help you understand the likelihood and the steps taken to minimise them.

Cost of Tracheal Shave Procedure in Sydney

The cost of a Tracheal Shave procedure in Sydney can vary widely based on several factors. If you’re considering this surgery, it’s essential to take into account the following:

  • Surgeon’s Fees: This can differ depending on the surgeon’s experience and reputation. Specialists who are highly sought after may charge more for their services
  • Facility Costs: The location where the surgery is performed can impact the cost. Private hospitals or day surgery facilities may have different fee structures
  • Anaesthesia: The cost for anaesthesia will depend on whether local or general anaesthesia is used and the duration of the procedure
  • Additional Expenses: These can include pre-surgical tests, post-operative garments, and follow-up appointments

In certain cases, Medicare might pay for a part of the surgery. If that’s the case, you can also connect with your health insurance provider to pay for some of the charges. In case, your claim isn’t approved by Medicare, you could opt for surgery financing plans.

Learn more about plastic surgery fees on Dr Kernohan’s pricing page. Alternatively, you can contact Dr Kernohan’s team for a price estimate or to set up an appointment today.

FAQs about Tracheal Shave Surgery


What is a Tracheal Shave and who is it for?

  • A Tracheal Shave, also known as Adam’s Apple reduction surgery, is a procedure that reduces the size of the thyroid cartilage (Adam’s Apple). It’s often sought by individuals who feel that the prominence of their Adam’s Apple does not align with their aesthetic preferences, including transgender women seeking a more feminine neck profile.

How long does the Tracheal Shave procedure take?

  • The surgery itself usually takes about one hour to complete. However, this time can vary depending on the individual case and the extent of the cartilage reduction required.

What’s the recovery time for a Tracheal Shave?

  • Recovery times can vary, but most patients can expect to return to their normal activities within a week or two. Swelling and bruising are common but usually subside within a few days. Dr Kernohan will provide specific aftercare instructions to ensure a smooth recovery.

Are there risks associated with a Tracheal Shave?

  • As with any surgical procedure, there are risks involved. These can include scarring, infection, changes in voice, and dissatisfaction with aesthetic results. It’s important to discuss all potential risks and concerns with Dr Kernohan prior to the procedure.

How much does a Tracheal Shave cost, and is it covered by insurance?

  • The cost of a Tracheal Shave can vary widely and is influenced by factors such as the plastic surgeon’s fees, facility costs, and geographic location. In many cases, it is considered a cosmetic procedure and not covered by insurance. However, if it’s part of gender confirmation surgery, some insurance policies may cover part or all of the cost. It’s best to check with your insurance provider and obtain a detailed quote from your surgeon.

Medical References about Tracheal Shave