Remember the days when people went to great lengths to hide all evidence of their plastic surgeries? How quaint. We now live in a world where a plastic surgeon known as Dr. Miami can become famous for sharing videos and photos of his Brazilian butt lifts and tummy tucks to social platforms.
Michael Salzhauer is a plastic surgeon who has been practicing in Miami for nearly a decade. It wasn’t until recently that he began uploading his surgeries to social-media platforms and began building something of a social-media empire (he now has nearly 130,000 followers on Instagram and 100,000 views a day on Snapchat). For the record, he has every patient sign a “social-media form” providing their consent before he posts to the channels. According to Salzhauer, about half of his patients sign the form, mostly of them millennials (shocker). His popularity has risen so much that he told us he is booked solid through July 2016. Here’s what he had to say about his social strategy and why he thinks it’s worked so well.
Your 15-year-old daughter got you started with posting your videos to Snapchat. How does she feel about your fame now? “In the beginning, she would be like, ‘I’m so embarrassed. All my friends are watching my dad’s Snapchat.’ Now she has come on board because I’ve sort of incorporated her into the Snapchat—I show her when I’m driving her to school, and she gets to shout out [to] her friends.”
What’s your Snapchat presence like now? “Now I get about 100,000 views a day from all over the world. And the people send me messages throughout the day. They ask me questions about the surgery. It’s like having your own little TV show that you can control. And you can interact with your audience.”
So are you answering questions while operating on patients? “I’m here 12 hours a day operating. Each surgery takes three to four hours, and each snap of the surgery is only ten minutes of it. Although it looks like I’m answering questions all throughout the surgery, it’s actually just those ten-second snippets when I stop and we answer questions. My focus during 98 percent of the surgery is just like before I had a Snapchat.”
What seems to be the most popular procedure for people to watch? “I would say butt lifts are the most popular. But as far as the one that gets the most screenshots, it’s the tummy tucks. When I lift the abdominal flap and show what’s underneath there, that always gets between 500 and 1,000 screenshots.”
Has Instagram or any other social platform ever removed any of your posts? They are pretty graphic. “I don’t put the bloody pics on Instagram—I cover the breasts, the nipples, and the butts with emojis. People have reported four or five of my posts [for] being too graphic, and they were deleted. Some of them were pretty benign, like, just girls in bikinis. But on Snapchat, it’s pretty much anything goes at this point, and same with Twitter and Vine.”
What does it feel like to be a social-media celebrity? “It’s the most fun I’ve had since medical school. It really puts the pressure on to make sure every result is as good as possible. Nothing in life is perfect; nothing in plastic surgery is perfect. The fact that people are watching makes me want to do the best I can.”
Raquel Santiago, a 24-year-old student who was also once a cast member on the Oxygen show Bad Girls, is one of Salzhauer’s patients. She received a Brazilian butt lift and a breast augmentation two weeks ago and had her surgery posted on Snapchat. We asked her a few questions about her experience.
How did you hear about Dr. Miami? “A previous Bad Girl had gotten a boob job from him. So I started following him when he had 8,000 followers. When I moved back to Miami and wanted surgery, I went to him.”
Why did you allow him to Snapchat your surgery? “I let him because I just wanted to be open about the surgery. Some people think it’s horrible. Some people think natural is better—but honestly, why not enhance your figure if you want to? I was just open about it. A lot of people lie about theirs, and I just wanted to shed a new light on plastic surgery.”
What was it like watching your Snapchat after your surgery? “Prior to my appointment, I would look at his Snapchat and kind of die inside because it was so graphic and just so scary. I just cringed and thought, If that was me…. It was so weird seeing the insides of my body on video to the world. I can’t believe I even shared it. I’m very open, but it was very weird to see my lifeless body just lying there. But when I watched mine, it was just so weird that it didn’t bother me. But then again, it could have been the pain meds. Also, Dr. Miami went very soft on me. He usually is just, like, all in there and talking, and when I watched mine, he was very gentle. He puts this iron rod in your skin and just saws back and forth, like, so fast, and it seems like he’s doing it very tough, but with mine, he was going very slow.”
Liked this post? Check these out:
• There’s a New Way to Get Rid of Your Double Chin
• The Surprising New Trends in Plastic Surgery
• The 11 Most Overrated Cosmetic Surgery Procedures