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First Female-to-Male Facial Confirmation Surgery with Description of a New Procedure for Masculinization of the Thyroid Cartilage (Adam’s Apple)

Deschamps-Braly, Jordan C. M.D.; Sacher, Caitlin L. M.P.A.S., P.A.-C.; Fick, Jennifer R.N., M.S.N., F.N.P.-C.; Ousterhout, Douglas K. M.D., D.D.S.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: April 2017 - Volume 139 - Issue 4 - p 883e–887e
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000003185
Cosmetic: Ideas and Innovations

Summary: Although male-to-female transgender patients commonly seek facial feminization surgery, facial masculinization surgery in the female-to-male transgender population is unreported in the literature. This report documents the first known female-to-male facial masculinization surgery, including a new technique for creating an “Adam’s apple” to enhance the facial masculine appearance of a natal female. The authors “reversed” the methods typically used to feminize male facial features, and modified the forehead, nose, and chin to masculinize the patient’s natal female facial features. The authors devised a novel technique to augment the thyroid cartilage using autologous rib cartilage to create a visible Adam’s apple. Initially, masculinization of the chin was accomplished with a multisegment chin osteotomy with grafts to vertically expand and widen the chin along with correcting pronounced microgenia. Subsequently, a second facial masculinization procedure was performed to masculinize the forehead, nose, and thyroid cartilage. Rib cartilage was harvested and carved into an appropriately shaped thyroid cartilage onlay graft and then attached and integrated with the native thyroid cartilage, creating a fully mobile cartilage that translocates up and down with swallowing and a visible Adam’s apple. Previously described techniques to masculinize the facial features of natal male patients were adapted to masculinize the female-to-male patient. Those procedures were combined with the novel technique to create a visually perceptible and naturally mobile Adam’s apple in the female-to-male transsexual patient. Collectively, these described procedures can now provide most female-to-male transsexual patients with a satisfying transformation of their facial features.


San Francisco, Calif.

From private practice, California Pacific Medical Center, University of California, San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, and the University of California, San Francisco Center for Craniofacial Anomalies.

Received for publication February 9, 2016; accepted October 5, 2016.

Disclosure: The authors have no relevant financial disclosures.

Jordan C. Deschamps-Braly, M.D., 450 Sutter Street, Suite 1520, San Francisco, Calif. 94108,

©2017American Society of Plastic Surgeons