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Adam's Apple
Myneck.JPG
An example of male laryngeal prominence.
Gray1195.png
Front view of neck.
Latin prominentia laryngea
Precursor 4th and 6th branchial arch

The laryngeal prominence—commonly known as the Adam's Apple—is a feature of the human neck. This lump, or protrusion, is formed by the angle of the thyroid cartilage surrounding the larynx. The term "Adam's Apple" is derived from Adam having eaten the forbidden fruit in the Bible's account of the lives of Adam and Eve.

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Sex differences

The laryngeal prominence is usually more prominent in adult men than in women or prepubescent girls or boys. The growth of the larynx itself during puberty is responsible for the vocal instability in teenage boys. The laryngeal prominence is merely the protrusion one sees of the thyroid cartilage making up the body of the larynx. The laryngeal prominence is usually more prominent in adult males because the thyroid cartilage elongates during puberty, protruding out the front of the neck more noticeably. The result is that the two laminae (thin cartilage) of the thyroid cartilage that form the protrusion meet at an average angle of 90° in males, and 120° in females, so there is less cartilage protruding out in females.

A prominent laryngeal prominence is commonly considered a male secondary sex characteristic, but normal healthy women can also develop a prominent laryngeal prominence.

Surgery

Cosmetic surgery to reduce the size of a laryngeal prominence is called chondrolaryngoplasty (thyroid chondroplasty).[1] This surgery may change the patient's voice and cause permanent damage, as well as leave a visible scar. In many types of gender reassignment surgery, chondrolaryngoplasty may be performed.

References

  1. ^ Wolfort FG, Dejerine ES, Ramos DJ, Parry RG (1990). "Chondrolaryngoplasty for appearance". Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 86 (3): 464–9; discussion 470. PMID 2385664.  

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