Otoplasty, or cosmetic ear surgery, can reposition and reshape the ears to improve the balance of your facial features. For patients who have endured teasing or self-consciousness due to the appearance of their ears, otoplasty can be life-changing.

Double-board-certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Richard V. Balikian has performed many otoplasty procedures for patients in San Diego. He takes the time to understand your unique vision for your enhanced facial appearance, so he can deliver results you will love.

What is an Otoplasty?

Cosmetic ear surgery is performed to address unwanted physical characteristics of the ears. Otoplasty alters one or more of the following:

  • Size – Otoplasty can reduce the size of disproportionately large ears or augment smaller ears.
  • Shape – Congenital structural abnormalities of the ears or trauma to the ears can result in an undesired ear shape. Dr. Balikian can reshape ear cartilage to create more aesthetic contours.
  • Position – Protruding ears are a common concern addressed by otoplasty. Dr. Balikian can “pin back” the ears, positioning them closer to the head.

Am I a Good Candidate for Otoplasty?

The best way to know if otoplasty is right for you is to have a consultation with Dr. Balikian in San Diego. The consultation allows Dr. Balikian to conduct an initial examination of your ears, understand your concerns, and determine if otoplasty is the optimal way to achieve the results you desire. He will also want to learn about your medical history to make sure you can safely undergo the procedure.

In general, candidates for otoplasty must:

  • Be in good physical health
  • Have realistic expectations for treatment results
  • Have fully developed ears (most children over the age of 5 can safely have cosmetic ear surgery)
  • Be a non-smoker or be willing to cease smoking for a period of time before, during, and after the procedure

The Otoplasty Procedure

Otoplasty is performed as an outpatient procedure. Surgery duration varies from patient to patient but typically takes around two to three hours. Extensive alterations involving multiple techniques will take longer than less complex cases. In every case, Dr. Balikian takes care to ensure symmetrical and natural-looking results.

You will receive local anesthesia at the start of your procedure. During the surgery in San Diego, Dr. Balikian works with the auricle, the visible area of the outer ear. This area is composed of cartilage folds that are covered in skin.

Depending on your desired look, Dr. Balikian will make an incision either on the back of the ear or inside the folds of the ear. Through the incision, Dr. Balikian can remove and reshape cartilage and tissue as needed. After the corrections are made, Dr. Balikian will place sutures to secure the new position and/or shape of the ears.

Otoplasty Recovery

The ears will be bandaged and wrapped following your otoplasty in San Diego. There will be some bruising and swelling that will subside over the next few days or so. Pain is generally well tolerated and can be managed with medication. Post-operative instructions will be provided.

Richard V. Balikian, MD, FACS

Double Board-Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon
Artistry. Excellence. Compassion

Trust Your Face to a Facial Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Balikian is an experienced, double board-certified, facial plastic surgeon. He is double board-certified both in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery as well as Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Balikian belongs to a very select group of elite cosmetic surgeons with at least six years of specialized surgical training exclusively in aesthetic and reconstructive surgery of the face and neck.

Read More
  • ABFPRS logo
  • ABOHNS logo
  • ACS logo
  • Castle Connolly logo
  • 10 Best Plastic Surgeon
  • Best of 2023 - Ranch & Coast
  • Columbia University logo
  • National Academy of Plastic Surgeon's 2024 Top 10 list!

Cost and Payment Options

As a part of your otoplasty consultation, Dr. Balikian can discuss the expected price of your otoplasty procedure in San Diego. Our team can also discuss the financing options available to you.

Schedule an Otoplasty Consultation

If you are self-conscious or uncomfortable due to the appearance of your ears, please contact our office to schedule an otoplasty consultation. Dr. Balikian can help you determine if otoplasty in San Diego is the best option for you.

doing what is best for the patient


Dr. Balikian was very attentive during my consultation and made me feel as though I was not on a time limit. He was very patient and explained every procedure in detail. In addition, he told me what procedures he would recommend and told me that some of the procedures I was interested in would not be necessary. It made me feel as though that his business is not about pushing out as many procedures as possible to make money but rather doing what is best for the patient.