An Adam’s apple is the notch in the thyroid cartilage that looks like a little funnel that protects your vocal chords.The effect of testosterone makes this cartilage grow larger, creating a bigger notch that sticks out. We all have this cartilage, but in those with more testosterone, it will be more prominent. While we most typically see it in cisgender males, it can appear in transgender men or women, or cisgender women. It really all depends on how much testosterone is present, especially in the womb while a fetus is being formed.
I’ve had all types of people come in regarding their Adam’s apple. Some people want it to be smaller while some want it to be bigger.
Why do females have Adam’s apples?
We all have an Adam’s apple, but it can be larger in both cisgender and transgender females due to extra testosterone. This hormone makes the cartilage bigger and it makes the notch a little more prominent. Everyone has testosterone but at varying levels which directly affects the size of your Adam’s apple.
What is a tracheal shave?
A tracheal shave is a procedure that was not named very well because it’s not the trachea that’s being shaved. We are actually shaving the thyroid cartilage. It’s more appropriately called the controlled laryngoplasty, but no one really wants to actually say that because it’s very complicated.
What we do is reduce the top of that little notch of the thyroid cartilage, by shaving it down. There’s a number of different ways to accomplish this, but the goal is to shave down the part that protrudes in the neck, whether at rest, talking or swallowing. I use a scope to visualize your vocal cords and make sure they’re a hundred percent safe before I reduce the cartilage that’s above them.
If you have a thin neck and happen to have a big thyroid cartilage, we’ll be able to take that down, but it’s essential to choose a facial plastic surgeon who knows the entire anatomy and has performed numerous tracheal shaves. This piece of cartilage is important to protect your vocal chords, and an unskilled surgeon could adversely affect your speaking voice or ability to breathe.
Have questions? Call or email any time. I help people like you every day and would love to talk.
Call or email any time. I’d sincerely love to hear from you.
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About Dr. Angela Sturm
Dr. Angela Sturm is a double-board certified facial plastic surgeon with certifications with the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and the American Board of Facial Plastic Surgery. Dr. Sturm’s meticulous nature makes for exceptional results and satisfied patients. Dr. Sturm was named Texas Monthly’s Super Doctors Rising Star in 2016-2017, Texas Monthly’s Super Doctor in 2018-2019, H Texas Magazine’s Top Doc in 2013-2018, Top Doc by Houstonia magazine in 2016-2018, Houston Business Journal’s People on the Move and 40 under 40, Blazing Star Award by Texas Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Top Women in Business, one of the Top 30 Influential Women of Houston, Best Female Cosmetic Surgeon in Out Smart, and given the Patients’ Choice Award, On Time Doctor Award and Compassionate Doctor Award by Vitals.com.