With expert throat surgeon – Sarah Little:
Tracheal shave surgery is a procedure that we offer to patients seeking facial feminisation as part of a group of procedures to improve the feminine appearance of their face.
One of the common things that differentiates a male from a female appearance, is having a prominence of the Adam’s apple. This is part of the front cartilages of the voice box, otherwise known as the larynx. In male patients this can be very prominent. It is becoming a common request to reduce its appearance, as this is a giveaway feature of someone’s birth gender.
“Tracheal shave surgery is a very reasonable way to improve the feminine appearance of the upper body. Occasionally a female tracheal prominence may also be of concern.”
What is involved with tracheal shave surgery? it involves a small incision in the neck so there will always be a scar. But we make that incision bearing cosmetic appearance in mind, so that it heals up very nicely. In general, within 6 to 12 months the scar itself is not noticeable. Like any operation, there’s always a theoretical risk of bleeding or an infection but there are technical steps we take to prevent that from happening. Finally, because we’re operating on the airway of the breathing structures, in theory, there’s always a risk of causing some swelling in that area. Most patients may have some mild hoarseness that persists for a few days afterwards, but then generally resolves.
The success rate for this procedure is very high. Most patients will notice a good improvement in the contour of the neck, so changing the shape of the Adam’s apple from a sharp, prominent, male-appearing Adam’s apple to a very smooth, subtle contour over the front part of the neck. Depending on the shape of the larynx, in the first place, there can be a variation in the change that we can achieve but in nearly all patients their appearances would be improved and smoothened.
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