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Tracheal Shave

The tracheal shave, also known by the term chondrolaryngoplasty, is a surgical procedure commonly done on transgender women who want to reduce their Adam’s apple size. It is called a shave because it involves shaving down thyroid cartilage through a small incision in the patient’s throat. It is typically done on an outpatient basis and considered a very safe surgical procedure. Often one of the first surgical procedures done in the gender affirmation process is a vital procedure in helping trans women take on the more feminine characteristics they desire. If you are considering a trach shave, here is some important information about the procedure and how we at Washingtonian Plastic Surgery can help with your transition.

Less Than One Hour

In most cases, a trach shave will take less than one hour, with 30-45 minutes being the average time to complete the procedure. Performed under general anesthesia, the goal of the procedure is to remove as much cartilage as possible in a safe manner while not damaging the patient’s vocal cords. To lessen the risk of this happening or of potential scarring, the incision is usually made not directly into the Adam’s apple, but instead slightly under your chin.

Endoscopic Procedure

While some surgeons may opt to perform a trach shave using traditional scalpels and other surgical instruments, we believe it is best to use more modern endoscopic procedures. Not only does this allow for a much smaller incision to be made, but it also results in less bleeding and scarring. In addition, the endoscope will allow your surgeon to pinpoint the exact location of the vocal cord attachment. As a result, we at Washingtonian Plastic Surgery can always keep you as safe as possible during the procedure.

Few if Any Complications

Since a trach shave is considered one of the safest surgical procedures for gender affirmation patients, we at Washingtonian Plastic Surgery can assure you there will be few if any complications following the procedure. Since we take all necessary precautions to protect your vocal cords, you won’t have to worry about any damage to your voice. Though you may have a sore throat for a few days due to mild discomfort, we have found the pain in most patients is easily controlled through over-the-counter medications.

Recovery Time

Though individual results will always vary, we at Washingtonian Plastic Surgery have found that most of our patients need a recovery time of about one week before resuming their normal daily activities. During the recovery period, we recommend not only using over-the-counter pain medication as needed to control any discomfort, but also applying ice to the throat as well. By doing these two things, using common sense, and heeding the advice Dr. Singh gives you following surgery, you should be feeling fine in only a few days.

Err on the Side of Caution

Though it is possible to greatly reduce your Adam’s apple’s size through a trach shave, we generally recommend you err on the side of caution and opt for a conservative reduction in size. In doing so, this will still provide you with the look you desire, while at the same time decreasing the chances of any potential damage to your vocal cords.


If you feel you are ready to learn more about getting a trach shave, schedule a consultation today with us here at Washingtonian Plastic Surgery. By visiting our website at, you can learn how to have a virtual consultation with Dr. Singh or call us by phone to begin the process.