When I rang Dr Daniel Lanzer on a Friday afternoon, I expected to have a quick chat about how he reached 1M followers on Tik Tok. Instead, I found a bigger story.
“Twenty years ago, when I got a fantastic result, it was depressing.”
These are the words of Dr Daniel Lanzer. It was an odd sentence to leave his mouth. A world-class surgeon, feeling blue about the work millions have come to revere thanks to the power of the internet.
“It was between me, the patient and those four walls. I would see something great, and there was no way I could share it. No one knew I could do this,” Dr Lanzer said.
Today, his work is shared with over one million people on TikTok, and the face of the aesthetics industry has never been the same (pardon the pun). It’s not just Dr Lanzer, who has seen this type of success on the social media platform. A handful of other surgeons, dermatologists and doctors have experienced view counts that soar to staggering heights. Let’s say, if those numbers were translated into dollars, they would be set for life, three times over.
But why do people want to look at this type of content? With the videos of cats, dancing girls and everything in between, what makes the bruising, swelling and the sometimes toe-curling world of plastics so compelling to the masses?
Dr Lanzer thinks it’s a combination of things. The world of plastic surgery has changed from 20 years ago. He says it was all about the fake boobs and startled look. Now, the desired aesthetic is more nuanced.
“I think we understand aesthetics and what people are looking for. We are talking about ordinary people who just want a better shape, curve and flow,” he said.
A word that comes up a lot these days when talking about aesthetics is subtle. Dr Lanzer says it’s both the biggest request and critique of his work. But that’s how you know you’re doing your job right, he infers.
He specialised in liposuction and pioneered Lipo 360, a technique that looks at the body as a whole rather than a targeted area like the stomach. It creates the contoured look that people want, and for that reason, he has taught his methods to five other surgeons across the globe. Another element of the industry made possible thanks to technology.
“Each procedure, we have worked out a way to make it a dot safer, a dot quicker, and a dot more natural. Even though it’s not like a whole new operation, subtlety makes a huge difference and the public pick that up,” he adds.
When it comes down to the nitty-gritty of reaching 1 million followers on Tik Tok, a platform Dr Lanzer never thought he’d get famous on, success lies in two things; content and talent.
Dr Lanzer or any surgeon in the industry holds the key to the somewhat locked door that is plastic surgery. The public gets a front-row seat at the initial consultation to the final result. A six-month journey neatly packaged up in a 60-second video. It’s satisfying for all that are involved.
“We’re fortunate that we have so many interesting things that people don’t normally get to see,” Dr Lanzer said.
The talent element comes in the form of his daughter, Mary, who he says can take the most basic content and make it look exciting. It has taken the pair roughly five months to reach 1M followers, but they were equally as stoked when 100 people were watching.
“I carry on about digital, but you know how much I suffered before the digital camera. Back 20 years ago, when someone had a procedure, I had to take a photo, send it off to the chemist to get developed. It was a negative placed onto the slide that we projected onto the wall. This took six weeks to two months.”
“Now, I take a photo, and it’s immediately uploaded to a program. I can pull it up on my phone within seconds and can practice from all over the world,” Dr Lanzer said.
So what is his response to a fantastic result now, you may ask? That’s still between himself, the patient and the four walls, but he also has the option to share it with one million other people too.
“It’s a good feeling,” he finishes.