This Miami Plastic Surgeon Uses Snapchat to Record His Surgeries Live in the Operating Room

Dr. Michael Salzhauer's patients allow him to record their surgeries on Snapchat

ByABC News
April 29, 2016, 8:39 AM

— -- Miami plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Salzhauer has managed to amass one of the largest followings on Snapchat, one 10-second video at a time.

Salzhauer, better known as "Dr. Miami," uses Snapchat during his patients' surgeries to document the procedures. As a result, he has millions of Snapchat fans and hundreds of new patients.

"Snapchat and social media has allowed us to show our work to an audience that we would never be able to reach if I had run a local commercial, you know?" Salzhauer told ABC News' "Nightline." "Social media allows us to draw patients from really everywhere. I have a travel concierge now."

Salzhauer says he was kicked off Instagram for being too graphic, so his 16-year-old daughter introduced him to Snapchat. He now has two full-time employees who Snapchat his activities from the moment he walks through the door and into the operating room.

When he first started using Snapchat during his surgeries, Salzhauer said "maybe one in three" would allow him to Snapchat their surgeries.

"But now it's people actually coming asking to be on the Snapchat," he said.

After seeing his videos on Snapchat, 26-year-old Cynthia flew over 1,000 miles just to have Salzhauer operate on her."I started watching his Snapchats, and in the beginning it was a little gross, and then after that I was just amazed with his work," Cynthia told "Nightline." "So by watching his Snapchat, it made my decision a little easier, because every person that I saw on the Snapchat looked different from before. So it was just cool."

Cynthia was happy to let Salzhauer Snapchat her surgery so her friends could see what happened as she was unconscious and undergoing a Brazilian butt lift.

"Actually, I feel good and comfortable, and I have a lot of friends, so they know what I'm doing. And I just want them to be part of my little story with him," Cynthia said. "Honestly, I don't mind [my surgery being on Salzhauer's Snapchat], because it's not like my face is there. It's basically private, kind of private. He's just showing his work and that's it."

Salzhauer asks his patients if they want to have their procedures shown on Snapchat and has them sign permission forms.

He insists that Snapchat doesn't distract him in the operating room, and so far, Salzhauer said, no lawsuits stemming from his Snapchat use have come his way.

"We're careful. We hope it never happens, but I think, like, body cameras on police and cameras in schools are a good thing too, you know? It keeps everybody focused, and, you know, it's helpful to go back to the videotape and see," Salzhauer said. "I think all surgery should be on tape. I feel like that -- what's wrong with transparency?"

Every Snapchat is orchestrated to maximize the impact on social media, he says, and his popularity only seems to be growing. He came in second place for the 2016 Shorty Award Snapchatter of the Year, losing to DJ Khaled. And his practice has also exploded.

"We used to get maybe ten appointments a day [but then] we got so many appointments we had to stop taking appointments ... because we had a backlog already for more than a year out," Salzhauer said. "There's a waiting list."