Otoplasty San Diego

San Diego Cosmetic Surgeon Dr. Tom Pousti Talks About Ear Surgery : Otoplasty

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Frequently Asked Questions


There are several variations of deformity of the ears, each of which must be treated in a different manner. Basically, otoplasty is performed to correct excess protrusion of the ears and place them in a more normal, less conspicuous position.

It should be noted that both ears are never exactly alike, even in the normal state, and that perfect symmetry is therefore not a reasonable expectation.

The operation has no adverse effects upon the hearing mechanism.

Photographs are as important to the plastic surgeon in the proper care of his patients as X-rays are to physicians in other medical specialties. Therefore, photos will be taken before and after surgery. These photographs become a part of the patients confidential medical record.

The surgery can be performed either in our office surgical suite or in the hospital. The decision as to the location will depend upon the desires of the individual patient and the judgment of the physician.

Physical activities should be limited for 2 weeks to avoid increased swelling and discomfort. Driving may be resumed in 3 days.

The Surgical Procedure

The operation takes approximately 1 and 1/2 hours to complete and is not painful. The procedure consists of an incision on the back side of the ear, with the removal of a small segment of skin. The cartilage is exposed, and it is thinned or cut so that the ear will be placed in a normal position and have a normal configuration. Stitches are used to hold the cartilage in place and to close the skin incision. A bulky type dressing is applied completely around the head so that both ears can be protected, swelling minimized and discomfort limited.

What To Expect After Surgery

Discomfort post-operatively is minimal. Whatever discomfort there may be is short-lived and easily handled with routine pain medication. Dressings will be left in place for a period of 1 to 2 weeks. They will be changed periodically by the doctor. It is advisable to wear a bandana or bandage over the head and ears at night for an additional 2 weeks to avoid injuring the ears while sleeping. When the bandages are removed, the ears will appear swollen and bluish in color. This is normal and will be evident for approximately 4 weeks. Slight swelling will be noticeable for a few weeks. Sutures will be removed in approximately 1 week.

Resumption Of Activities

Non-contact sports (swimming, dancing, jogging) may be resumed in 2 weeks. Contact sports (tennis, skiing, volleyball) in 5 to 6 weeks. Driving may be resumed in 3 days and sunbathing in 1 week.


Hi Dr. Pousti and staff. I just wanted to thank you for making my surgery experience a more pleasant one. And for anyone thinking about choosing Dr. Pousti I highly recommend him. I had otoplasty done about a month ago, and my ears look great! Dr. Pousti and his staff are very friendly and knowledgeable. They made sure I spoke with other patients of his so I could find out more about Dr. Pousti and their opinions of him. They love him of course; why else would I trust him with my ears? Even from the first visit he took plenty of time with me answering questions and making me feel at ease. The staff at the surgery center were amazing also. The nurses and my anesthesiologist were so nice and responsive. I’m really happy with my whole experience there. Other than a little sore throat I felt fine after the surgery. Dr. Pousti even called me later that day to see how I was doing. What a nice guy. So to anyone considering having their surgery done by Dr. Pousti, I think you’ve found an excellently qualified and gifted person for the job.

When I finally decided to have Otoplasy surgery, I did a little bit of shopping around first. I saw two other Plastic Surgeons. I had my consultations with them and I was very disappointed. Then I found Dr. Pousti’s website and I emailed him right away. I showed up to his office and the girls at the desk were simply GREAT! They truly are professionals and they know exactly how to make people feel welcome (Vanessa, you girls are awesome!) Dr. Pousti came out to greet me with a smile and a handshake, and the experience of it all just put me at ease and I knew it right then and there: he was THE ONE! I felt I was meeting a friend for coffee rather than a Doctor for a surgery consultation. Dr. Pousti is very well spoken and a great listener. He truly cares about the person in front of him and their wishes and concerns. We talked about my requests and my expectations and he told me what could be done and what to look forward to. Plain and simple. Fast-Forward a few weeks and there I was in the hospital bed, looking up at the surgery room’s staff, also very professional and always making ME their highest priority. I woke up over 2 hours later with a huge headdress, looking like Tinky-Winky on crack and a bad sore throat that lasted a few days. Good excuse to have icy cold sorbet… hm, come to think of it; I should’ve called those plastic surgery shows to tape the whole thing… rats! Anyway, Dr. Pousti called me that evening to check on me, and the days after, just to make sure I was ok. I was great. 4 days later, he removed my bandages and voilá -THE HANDSOMEST EARS IN TOWN WERE REVEALED! No, seriously! my friends and family who had said before “you are just wasting your time and money” were saying now “oh wow, what a major change, you should’ve done it a long time ago” and of course my dating life increased by 100% yesss!

Dr. Pousti is an extremely skilled Plastic Surgeon. If you are thinking about getting Otoplasty, I strongly suggest that you set up an initial consultation with him. You will not be disappointed.

If I ever need more plastic surgery, (and I will) I now exactly who I will call.

V. C.

Hillcrest, San Diego CA.