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People Love Plastic Surgery on Snapchat

Want to watch a Brazilian Butt Lift? How about a tummy tuck? There’s a Snapchat account for that

Today it isn’t just the Snapchat accounts of famous-for-being-famous starlets that are garnering the most attention. Instead, it’s the surgeons behind some of the country’s most impressive cosmetic transformations that are taking the social app by storm. While the ‘Snaps’ themselves might be NSFW, that doesn’t stop hundreds of thousands of viewers who follow these surgeons, all for a glimpse at what happens behind the surgical curtain.

New York’s own Dr. Matthew Schulman, a board-certified plastic surgeon, partakes in the Snapchat trend and was even named as one of International Business Times’ Top 17 Snapchat accounts to follow in 2016. The surgeon, who has been practicing for just about 10 years now, says that he started using social media around four years ago, hoping that it might help spread the word about his practice. It wasn’t until one year ago, and the birth of “Nycplasticsurg,” that Dr. Schulman realized he’d found the key to both increasing business and giving the people what they want. “People still think that Snapchat is how you send nude pictures,” he says, “but now it’s very different.”

Through a combination of professional educational and a touch of personality, Dr. Schulman’s Snapchat account now gets over 100,000 views per story. Procedures that he coins “mommy makeovers,” like tummy tucks or breast augmentations, garner the most attention. Also popular, unsurprisingly, is the Brazilian Butt Lift. Dr. Schulman explained that many of his new patients actually find him through Snapchat, and that most feel an instant familiarity with him and his staff because of it. It also hasn’t been as difficult as one may think to obtain patients’ consent to be recorded.

When asked why they opted in to have their surgeries broadcast to hundreds of thousands of viewers, former patients Sharntai Harris and Michelle Rentas both wanted to pay it forward. After having watched several of Dr. Schulman’s surgeries, both women agreed to being taped on account that they might help others understand the surgical process. And yes, both women did watch their own procedures. Rentas even explained that her family watched in real-time for peace of mind. 

“My family watched the whole thing while they were waiting for me to be done,” she says. “It was like they were right there in the operating room.” Dr. Schulman further elaborated saying, “Normally the family would wait in the waiting room, stress and get anxious, waiting for my nurse to go out and reassure them that things are going well. Now, they’re able to go leave for lunch or walk around, and still follow it live on Snapchat.”

The rules remain: nudity is at its minimum, no faces are shown (aside from the handful of patients willing to do pre and post-surgery Snapchat interviews) and definitely no horsing around. At the end of the day, Dr. Schulman is only showing a small portion of a lengthy, complicated procedure—just, one might say, a snapshot of it.