BRUCE JENNER seems ready to take the plunge – and transform himself into a woman!

The Olympic legend has reportedly consulted with a top Beverly Hills plastic surgeon about a common procedure that’s usually an important step in mak­ing a sex change.

On Dec. 12, a source says Jenner met with the surgeon about un­dergoing a laryngeal shave. The procedure is done to smooth out the Adam’s apple and generally only performed on men in the first stages of gender-reassignment surgery.

Since his split from wife Kris Jenner, “Bruce is slowly letting his true self come out,” revealed an insider. “His family has always accepted that he has a strong feminine side, but no one can comprehend how a man who’s been married three times and fathered six kids could have been living a lie all these years.”

Bruce insists he wants the sur­gery because “I just never liked my trachea,” but leading experts tell The ENQUIRER that his decision to have the procedure seems to indicate otherwise.

“A laryngeal shave is part of the facial feminization procedure we perform on men who want to transgender into women,” Phila­delphia-area plastic surgeon Dr. Sherman Leis, who has not treated Jenner, told The ENQUIRER. “In my 40 years of plastic sur­gery, I have never performed this operation on anyone but a trans­gendering male.”

Although he has reportedly canceled the surgery for now, the 64-year-old former athlete – who let Kardashian family momager Kris wear the pants during their 22-year marriage – has long been dogged by reports about a secret gender-bending life.

His first wife, Chrystie Crownover, reportedly told Ellen Kardashian, who was married to Kris’ ex-hubby Robert Kardashian, that the once-macho decathlon champion kept a secret stash of man-size lingerie. Chrystie recent­ly denied suggesting that Bruce is a cross-dresser and claimed that Kris is trying to “ruin” Bruce by spreading rumors that he is a cross-dresser and planning transsexual surgery.

Bruce has also worn make-up and jewelry, and he enjoys regular beauty treatments such as mani­cures, pedicures and eyebrow plucking.

Lately, he’s been wearing his hair in a feminine ponytail, which ac­centuates his delicate, surgically enhanced facial features. And he certainly didn’t seem to mind donning blue lipstick and a wig, imitating Kris’ hairstyle for his role in an upcoming movie spoof, “The Hungover Games.”

But his most startling transformation to date could involve the laryngeal shave, an outpatient proce­dure that costs about $3,500.

During the operation, a surgeon reduces the size of the Adam’s apple and, as part of the facial feminization process, will typically perform jaw re­construction, lip enhancement, nose surgery and brow-lifts. The pitch of a person’s voice can also be altered.

Top Michigan plastic surgeon Dr. Anthony Youn, who has not treated Jenner, noted: “Shaving an Adam’s apple is a relatively uncommon op­eration except in gender reassignment individuals. The idea of Bruce having it done just because he doesn’t like his neck is bizarre, to say the least.”

As The ENQUIRER revealed, after his split from Kris – which laid the groundwork for a $175 million divorce battle – Bruce moved into his own place in Malibu, where he can live a more open life. Said the source: “He explained to the kids that life is too short not to be your true and authentic self