Esthetic reduction of the thyroid cartilage: A systematic review of chondrolaryngoplasty

Paul J. Therattil, Nemesis Y. Hazim, Wess A. Cohen, Jonathan D. Keith

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: The transgender patient seeking transition from male to female suffers a significant stigma from the prominent male thyroid cartilage. Natal men and women may seek elective reduction of the “Adam's apple” as well. There are various techniques for performing chondrolaryngoplasty, but these techniques and their associated outcomes are poorly described in the literature. Methods: A literature review was performed for articles related to esthetic chondrolaryngoplasty. Data related to outcomes and complications were extracted. Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines were followed. The authors also present the case of a transgender 58 year-old male-to-female patient who underwent chondrolaryngoplasty. Results: Four case series, including 69 patients who had esthetic chondrolaryngoplasty, were identified that met inclusion criteria. Qualitative assessment of patient satisfaction was reported in two studies (n = 62), with a 98.4% satisfaction rate. The most common complications were odynophagia in 20.3% of patients, hoarseness in 36.2% of patients, and laryngospasm in 1.4% of patients. Of patients that had postoperative hoarseness, 96% had resolution within 20 days. In our patient's case, chondrolaryngoplasty was performed with a tracheal shave in combination with high-speed burring for fine contouring. The patient experienced hoarseness for 1 week postoperatively that self-resolved. Conclusion: Overall, chondrolaryngoplasty for reduction of the thyroid cartilage appears to be a safe and effective procedure. The complications that occurred in identified case series were mild and self-limiting. Although serious complications are certainly possible, we were not able to identify their occurrence in the literature. Recent modifications in chondrolaryngoplasty involve protecting the anterior commissure tendon to prevent iatrogenic voice modification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-32
Number of pages6
JournalJPRAS Open
StatePublished - Dec 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


  • Chondrolaryngoplasty
  • Facial feminization
  • Male-to-female
  • Tracheal shave
  • Transgender

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