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Adam's Apple Reduction

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It’s now just about possible to make your entire body over from head to toe with cosmetic procedures. Think about it for a moment and you’ll realize it’s true.

Plastic surgery for your feet? Yes—toes and beyond. Calves? Check. Thighs? Yes. Butt? Definitely. Tummy, breasts, arms? Oh, yes. Neck, ears, face? Absolutely.

The only body parts you don’t hear discussed in the same breath as cosmetic surgery tend to be structures and joints.

But there are several body parts that aren’t normally discussed in the same breath as cosmetic surgery. When it comes to knees, elbows, collarbones and such, there’s no apparent demand for fine tuning—or, more likely, no safe way to do it.

But, wait! There is one body part on the list of surgical candidates you might not expect—the Adam’s apple. In fact, the procedure to reduce a prominent Adam’s apple, called a condrolaryngoplasty, has been around for at least a few decades.

As you might expect, one group that has sought to reduce the projection of the Adam’s apple is transgender males, according to the National Institutes of Health, as well as men with a slender build. In 1990, four plastic surgeons reported tracking 31 patients over a 17-year period. The researchers from New England Deaconess Hospital in Boston found the surgical results to be “effective and satisfying, with few complications.” The four surgeons reported an occasional mild voice weakness experienced by some patients, and said, “We believe this operation has a place among the techniques of plastic surgeons” (Wolfort 1).

What does the procedure involve? The tracheal shave, also known as thyroid cartilage reduction, begins with an incision in a natural crease of the neck, usually above the Adam’s apple. The surgeon carefully separates the vertical neck muscles, then shaves the cartilage to create a smoother line for the throat while protecting the vocal structures. The incision is closed with small sutures, and the resulting scar is not usually noticeable. Patients may experience some minor bruising and swelling, but recovery is generally smooth (Eppley 1).

Chondrolaryngoplasty may never be mainstream cosmetic surgery, but it is indeed sought by transgender males reasonably often, and by the occasional non-transgender male. Women sometimes seek it too, and you can see one example with before and after photos here:


You can find plastic surgeons who offer the procedure in a variety of states, including California, Indiana, Georgia, Massachusetts and New York, as well as in several different countries.

So, there you have it. The list of cosmetic surgery targets is longer than you thought it was. Are knees and elbows going to make the list some day? Don’t bet against it.


Wolfort, FG, et. al. Chondrolaryngoplasty for appearance. U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. September, 1990. PubMed. Web. May 30, 2011. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2385664

Eppley, Barry. Tracheal Shave for the Prominent Adam’s Apple. Eppley Plastic Surgery and Anti-Aging Strategies. Web. May 30. 2011.

Reviewed June 13, 2011
Edited by Kate Kunkel

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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