"To think that someone was offering a free medical procedure in order to produce a video to build his practice, yikes and yuck," says Kenneth Goodman, the UM bioethics director. "Surgery is an ancient and noble profession designed to help other people. That does not leave room for tawdry marketing gimmicks."

Tell that to Salzhauer. Dr. Schnoz now spends several hours a week making videos to upload to YouTube. He has hired a cameraman away from local TV news. He recruits his surgical assistants and office workers for his videos. And ever since he gave a hip-hop producer a nose job, he's been in discussions to have a major rapper drop the name of his practice in a song.

Salzhauer describes his viral-video obsession as one-third geeky hobby — the adolescence that the child prodigy gave up when he enrolled in medical school at age 17. But the rest of it is business. Other Miami plastic surgeons have their own reality TV series. "I'm just trying to stay on the cutting edge among my peers," he says.

Salz­hauer's risqué videos belie his personal life. He has five kids and twice ran for Surfside City Commission.
Giulio Sciorio
Salz­hauer's risqué videos belie his personal life. He has five kids and twice ran for Surfside City Commission.
Salzhauer strikes a faux-gangster pose during his latest video, a Justin Bieber spoof titled "If I Was Your Surgeon."
Courtesy of Dr. Michael Salzhauer
Salzhauer strikes a faux-gangster pose during his latest video, a Justin Bieber spoof titled "If I Was Your Surgeon."

Instead of selling surgery to soccer moms who watch reality TV, Salzhauer is targeting teenagers who compulsively watch YouTube on cell phones. Roughly 30 percent of his patients are now under 25. He'd like to triple that number. And he says he routinely operates on kids as young as 15, in part because he believes surgery can help teens avoid years of bullying.

"Public attitude is changing," he says. "Fifty years ago, people thought braces were evil. Nowadays, if you don't fix your kids' teeth, you're considered a monster."

But Goodman points out that teenagers' faces continue to change until they are in their 20s, and that counseling is a much safer option. "This sends a very sad message," Goodman counters. "This is caving in to the very worst of adolescent peer pressure. We used to tell kids to stand up against bullies. This is telling them: 'Give into bullies, and we've got just the surgery for that.'"

Salzhauer dismisses that argument. "Some people languish in life," he says bluntly. "They never reach their full potential because they are unhappy about some part of their body. People always say character is what really counts. Yeah, right. Try telling that to the kid crying into his pillow every night."

There are also religious objections to Salzhauer's permissive approach to plastic surgery. Citing the Torah, some Jews consider tattoos — let alone nose or boob jobs — tinkering with God's work: "You shall not make gashes in your flesh for the dead, or incise any marks on yourselves," Leviticus 19:28 says.

Salzhauer is at peace with his religion too. "Judaism isn't like Catholicism, where the body is sacred," he says. "For Jews, the body is a like space suit for the soul. We need it to exist, but we're not unique snowflakes that can't be altered. Take circumcision. It's a commandment."

With Operation Chuppah, Salzhauer might be onto something. In late May, he gave away his first nose job to an 18-year-old high school student from a large Orthodox Jewish family in New Jersey.

"I don't think having my nose a little smaller means, oh my God, guys are now going to want me," says the teenager, who asked that her name not be published. "But it gives me confidence, which is helpful when you are dating."

Salzhauer is gratified to hear stories like hers. But he freely admits the truth: Not even a satisfied patient compares to the high he gets from seeing one of his videos go viral.

On a recent weekend, Salzhauer calls a New Times writer to deliver breaking news with bated breath. His latest project, a commercial spoof called "Old Spice vs. New Spice," has rocketed to the top of YouTube's daily chart with nearly 200,000 views in 48 hours.

"I want to make sure that YouTube isn't playing a trick on me," Salzhauer says excitedly, asking the reporter to check the website. "We shot it yesterday morning before surgery in an hour and a half.

"That's incredible," he says, almost giggling. "I just wanted you to share in this moment."

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11 comments
tiffanygraff44
tiffanygraff44

Hi..i live in Dubai and i want to get a nose job desperately. Can anyone suggest me an excellent rhinoplasty surgeon in Dubai and if it is not possible then is there any good surgeon who visits Dubai .

Currently i read this site: http://www.cocoona.ae/rhinoplasty.asp

Erik
Erik

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Jack Grimshaw
Jack Grimshaw

What the hell does rhinoplasty or any other surgical procedure have to do with "g-d," as you so strangely phrase it? And what exactly is this "g-d" you speak of? The man in the sky? Some volcano g-d? The Easter Bunny? The Tooth Fairy? Mohammed? Obi-Wan Kenobi? And who informed you that someone's body belongs to this "g-d"? You're speaking in tongues, pal ...

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Travis McGee
Travis McGee

Colorful, unique and talented people with a good heart are what make America interesting and enviable. We will take the good with the bad and make something excellent that others will copy. Is this man all good? No. Is this man all bad? No. But he is DOING SOMETHING and not being suppressed. We will take the good with the bad and celebrate the good. I am happy that he is ours and an excellent surgeon.

STACEYSANDER
STACEYSANDER

HE IS THAT GOOD. HE DID MY NOSE I SHOULD KNOW, BUT ABOVE ALL HE IS AN AMAZING DOCTOR AND PERSON. HE TREATS EVERY PATIENT WITH KINDNESS AND IMPORTANCE.

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