Thyroid Cartilage Reduction

Related Services

Gender Services Program

Thyroid cartilage reduction, chondrolaryngoplasty or "trach shave," is an operation to reduce the size of the Adam’s apple on the neck in transwomen. It is performed through a small incision within an existing crease on the neck. This procedure is performed under general anesthesia as an outpatient surgery. This procedure may be combined with other facial feminization surgery or gender-affirming surgery.


Frequently Asked Questions


Who is a good candidate for thyroid cartilage reduction surgery?


Transwomen or gender-expansive patients with prominent Adam’s apple are candidates for chondrolaryngoplasty. The UW Health team follows the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) standards of care. Specific letters of readiness for trach shave surgery are not required as with chest or genital gender-affirmation surgery.


What should I do in the time leading up to my thyroid cartilage reduction surgery?


Your doctor will give you instructions before your surgery, including guidelines on eating, drinking and taking or avoiding certain medications and vitamins. Avoid smoking or tobacco use four to six weeks before surgery and aspirin 14 days before and after your procedure.


What should I expect following a thyroid cartilage reduction procedure?


Immediately following thyroid cartilage reduction surgery, you may experience temporary soreness, swelling, bruising, sickness upon waking from anesthesia and changes in sensation. Swelling will persist for several weeks. You will have a scar on your neck that will fade over the course of a year.