VIDEO: These women get paid to Snapchat boob jobs and Brazilian butt lifts for a living
On the third floor of an unassuming office building in Miami's Bal Harbour neighborhood, you can find Dr. Michael Salzhauer preparing to remove a patient's third nipple, but not before performing a tummy tuck on another.
Dr. Salzhauer, 44, known as "Dr. Miami," runs a super-successful plastic surgery practice (not atypical for the wealthy neighborhood) and one of the most popular Snapchat accounts on the planet: therealdrmiami (very atypical).
He's hired two people to feed his Snapchat followers full-time.
'I want Michelle's butt'
Ashley Belance, 22, and Brittany Benson, 27, are Dr. Miami's "social media specialists," responsible for obtaining release forms and populating the doctor's Snapchat account from 8 a.m. until the last surgery is done, which can sometimes mean 1 a.m.
"It's become sort of this modern performance art type of thing where [patients] will come in and say, I want you to shout out my sisters, and I want you to play this song during the surgery. And I want Michelle's butt," said Dr. Miami.
Anyone in our generation knows how to use social media. You have to be a good culture fit, too.
Job hunting on Instagram
Belance and Benson were studying and working in marketing, respectively, before accepting the full-time offer from Dr. Miami.
Belance heard about the position on Instagram.
"I was looking one day and saw the post," said Belance. "And within 20 minutes, I was in the office, and I haven't left since."
'A little fame'
It's been a year of change for the two social media mavens.
"It gave me a little fame," said Ash. I have people who try to be my friends now, who didn't want to be my friends before, but now that I work for a plastic surgeon, they're like 'Oh hey, Ash!'"
"When I first started working here, I had maybe 900 followers. Now I'm closing in on 45,000," said Brittany.
A lot has changed for the doctor's practice, too. Dr. Miami is booked for the next two years, and he says being on Snapchat has made his clientele skew younger.
"In general as a society, it makes it less taboo and easier to discuss," said Dr. Miami.
Still, there's some who see the Snapchatting as gratuitous or unnecessary, release forms or not.
One of the patients who had her surgery broadcast to millions on Snapchat said following Dr. Miami on Snapchat encouraged her to get her surgery.
Medical school audience
"I was OK with it from day one," said Murphy Cohen. "Snapchatting the surgeries, I think it makes it real. It helps people understand what's going on."
On the afternoon we spent with Dr. Miami, of the three patients he was seeing that day, two declined to have their surgery broadcast on snapchat. The third, who has having a third nipple removed, didn't mind.
For all the squeamish looks his content might get, it seems a lot of medical students don't mind watching either. Dr. Miami says he has a sizable following from medical students looking to supplement their studies with his videos.
What if something goes wrong?
For all the laughs and the awe these graphic Snaps evoke, there's also a big elephant in the room.
What if something goes wrong?
"We would stop Snapchatting immediately," said Dr. Miami. Although nothing has ever gone wrong (we checked his professional record), he says his priority is always safety. "People forget that for a four-hour surgery, you're only seeing three minutes of it on Snapchat."
But it still begs the question: What if something goes wrong? What would happen, legally speaking?
It's a little like giving birth
Nothing, really, according to George Patterson, a medical malpractice attorney.
There's no law forbidding phones in operating rooms or recordings with consent. Patterson equates it to recording the birth of a child.
"In delivery rooms, fathers would oftentimes videotape the delivery of children," said Patterson. "And these videotapes in deliveries that went bad were used as evidence in medical malpractice."
So the act of video recordings wouldn't be incriminating, but what they captured could.
It's hard to deny that Dr. Miami has tapped into a niche audience hungry for raw, uncensored videos showing the not-so-glamorous parts of plastic surgery. Just recently, he was a finalist for "Snapchatter of the Year," losing to DJ Khaled.
"It's already catching on. There's dozens and dozens of doctors already doing this," said Dr. Miami.
I wanted to see if it was really catching on, so I called 12 of the most prominent plastic surgeons in the United States. Two of them said they would probably never Snapchat their patients' surgeries, even with consent. The other 10 didn't get back to me.
'The Naked Tea'
In the meantime, Dr. Miami and his team are focused on growing their brand across all platforms.
They recently launched "The Naked Tea," a live pop culture talk show they stream on Facebook everyday. Just recently, the guest on the show was Uncle Luke, the Miami legend credited with discovering Pitbull and DJ Khaled.
And in July, a video of vagina tightening with radio frequency they posted to Facebook got more than one million views.