Another Dr. Craig Alan Bittner Victim

August 26, 2008

Blogging, Message Boards, Forums, Make Me Heal and Plasmetic

Lumps, bumps, dents and other ugly stuff!

Lumps, bumps, dents and other ugly stuff!

Please vist http://www.mydralanbittnerstory.com or
http://www.findlipodoctor.info!

We would all like to believe that what we read on the net is true. Life is never that simple. Business sites always put their best face forward, even if they have to lie to do it. So we look to blogs, forums and message boards to see if we can find other information that either supports or contradicts the claims of those who want us to spend our money on their products and services. Sadly, even these resources can be deceptive.

Critics/complainers: People who are unhappy will sometimes post their complaints on the net. Research shows that most people do not take the time to do so, many never even voice their complaints to the source of the problem. This means that for every negative comment you find, there are probably dozens more that are not published; perhaps hundreds. However, some of these negative comments can also be greatly exaggerated or completely fabricated by angry customers or former employees. How do you know what is true? It is not easy.

  • First, consider the overall complaint. Is someone mad because they did not get the toy they wanted in their kid’s meal? (yes, I have seen this!) Or did they lose lots of money on something that did not perform properly? Was their safety threatened? Were laws broken?
  • Second, what information is provided? Is it an emotionally charged opinion of how bad something was? Or a simple, basic, detailed description of the events that allows the readers to form their own opinions? Is the author just bad-mouthing, calling names and using strongly suggestive language….or fairly benign terminology?
  • Lastly, is there any evidence? Pictures, documents, links, contact information? Have they spent more time and money to correct the problems?

Businesses: We should all be aware that those who wish to sell us goods and services will tell us how wonderful their product is and conveniently leave out any negatives. We call this “advertising.” AND…the internet has provided a forum for a whole new level of self promotion that is even more dishonest than flashy ads with promises of amazing results. Where does this happen? In the same blogs, forums and message boards that we use get help from other consumers. Some of the deception is downright sick. While some companies monitor internet communications in order to improve and address customer issues and complaints, others are using them to distort, manipulate and further their shameless self-promotion. It happens with cell phones, internet providers and medical “professionals.”

Yes, it’s true. Staff members and employees hired just to “blog” pose as satisfied customers and tell, big, fat, fabulous lies about how great product “X” is. Sometimes they even claim to have resolved an issue hoping that the customer will not “keep up” with comments on the site. Still, others pose as satisfied customers/supporters who try to discredit those with legitimate complaints.

Another method that businesses use to censor customer comment is to advertise or otherwise “fund” the “public” message site. You guessed it, any negative complaint or experience will be removed with claims of “legal protection.” Funny though, negative feeback about businesses who are not “associated” with the site can usually still be found. Take a look, is the doctor you are researching a paid advertiser on your forum? Hmmmmm……..

One last method of manipulating public resources is to have an employee or customer who may have received free products or services function as the “moderator” of the group. Zing! Any post or person that knocks their benefactor is removed with some silly excuse.

How do I know this? It’s in the news. Better minds than mine have researched and proved it. It has happened to people I know. It has happened to me. I have been banned from Make Me Heal and censored on Plasmetic, for nothing more than posting the URL to my website. Can I prove who or why?……..

No. But it does not take “proof” to see that there is some shady reasoning behind some of the events. There are others who have been banned or censored as well, for posting their own experiences with the very same “business” as I have. Take time to read some of the posts from very questionable “happy patients” who write with fairlytale raves, just in the nick of time to counter comments by an unhappy patient. I have received many letters from people for whom the authenticity of these posts is suspect. It’s not just me…others think they are suspicious too!

On the subject of Dr. Bittner, there have been several people who have suspected that there is some funny business going on in some of the medical message boards and “public” forums. Has it been proved? Not yet. Maybe never. But, how many centuries did it take until people believed the world was not flat? Surprisingly, there are still some who still think it is flat! No kidding!

Better yet, find the post on Plasmetic ( http://www.plasmetic.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1772) where a “patient” claims that my website is “bogus” because I have links to my “other personal sites” and on them..and I have a lot of “drama.” It seems I have been fighting with and bad-mouthing my neighbors. As a leader in our neighborhood watch, I shared this with some of them, we laughed until we cried. Notice that when “someonenew” was questioned about the “other sites” to which she referred..the thread was soon closed. Why doesn’t Plasmetic want readers to discuss this doctor unless they are “happy?” Are those happy patients real? or employees? Do you want to ignore the bad work that a doctor does just because he may have done some good work? Is it worth the risk? If you are unlucky enough to have bad results, do you want to be turned away for corrections? HAVE YOU SEEN MY PICTURES? Patients should be able to expect RESPONSIBLE care from a doctor. More importantly, a patient should be informed if the doctor is going to have someone else perform the surgery BEFORE they lie on the table! (rant over)

I was shocked over hearing about this claim of ” links to “other sites”, “drama” and my neighbors! How could someone(new) be stupid enough to make a claim that ANYONE could immediately prove false by simply searching the site for these imaginary links? What other “personal” sites are linked on www.findlipodoctor.info? I don’t recall ever linking any. But the sad truth is that people do not often stop to think or to verify information they read. And “someonenew” was banking that there were enough stupid people who would believe the claim. Will you be a victim of her assumption?

This is a very personal issue, an important one, that needed to be addressed in order to help others. Check it out…do you see links to my “personal sites?” Please, do check it out…expecially the links to the Medical Board disciplinary action pages and Los Angeles court pages. Those are real. Read the story, see the pictures.

Most importantly, think critically when you surf the net. Be aware of posts that sound suspicious, threads on “public” forums that seem to be too one-sided and stories that provide no evidence. That is why I made my site, so that I could provide the facts without censorship. Am I a drama queen who fights with her neighbors and posts it to her personal sites?..or someone who provides real information that you can verify with an attorney and government offices? If you think the former, can you help me get and agent? ….cause, baby, it takes a real dedicated actor to do what it took to get those photos! Again, see the site, decide for yourself and share the information with others.

When you look for help in forums, question what you see…….Is important consumer information being censored on your forum?

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8 Comments »

  1. I am sorry to hear that you have had to endure such an experience with a physician that has left you disfigured. I am happy to hear that you are sharing your experiences and educating others on how to become safer healthcare consumers. Although healthcare is a “business” and physicians obviously must sustain themselves and profit from their work (like any other industry), it doesn’t mean that they are allowed to act illegally or unethically in any manner that would compromise the safety or well-being of a patient for monetary gain. Alas, in every profession there are those who will prey upon others by means of deceit or by cutting corners in order to take advantage of their clients. Regarding website/on-line advertising… a few simple, common sense rules will assist a person in assessing the professionalism of the services they are seeking… #1. do your research. Use the internet to look up any background information that is available. If they have been sued or cited for false advertising in the past there is good likelihood that they have a tendency towards deceit. #2. Be wary of ads that use words like world-renowned, famous,
    celebrities and absolute statements like “no pain, no downtime, no scars, not one infection, not one complaint”. There are not many absolutes in medicine. #3. Judge the quality of the ad— does it seem glossy, flippant, overly commercial. Most quality medical professionals shy away from representing themselves like half-price day at a car wash. #4. View surgical videos online if available of the surgeon. They should be following sterile technique if its plastic surgery or even liposculpture.
    If the video does not seem professional e.g. a lot of laughing, joking around this kind of atmosphere should be enjoyed at a comedy club, not during your procedure or surgery. Feeling comfortable with your surgeon is one thing… enjoying a stand-up routine is a bad sign. #5. You have a right to have a physician treat you, not his/her receptionist or daytime janitor. DEMAND IT. and lastly… #6. if you find yourself in a position in which you have been exposed to malpractice or negligence contact a lawyer immediately and refrain from personal interaction with the physician or his/her staff. Choosing to have plastic surgery is a frightening thing (despite the improvements that you are excited about).
    If you do not choose wisely, there is a higher likelihood of permanent disfigurement and possibly pain. Personally, although I am not against plastic surgery, I have a very realistic view of its benefits vs. its potential damages. I hope this might help anyone who is contemplating plastic revisions to make wiser more informed decisions. I hope you NAIL
    the people that have caused you such distress.

    Comment by Jess — August 27, 2008 @ 6:06 am | Reply

  2. Holy shit!!! I was practically hyperventilating as I was reading your website. I can’t believe I actually considered having an x-ray analyst perform a cosmetic procedure on me. I am so grateful to you for sharing your story and saving me from a potential nightmarish lipo experience. I am sorry you’ve had to suffer through this and hope your upcoming re-do procedure turn out to your satisfaction. Thank you.

    Comment by Willi — September 16, 2008 @ 7:05 am | Reply

  3. My story is almost exactly like yours. My stomach even looks the same. I’ve made an apt with Dr Heller and I was wondering if you had your after pictures yet?

    Comment by Kelly — September 18, 2008 @ 6:04 pm | Reply

  4. You are a very brave woman and I commend you for taking the time and effort to share such valuable information regarding physician conduct. I am literally astounded by the poor level of care that you received at the hands of this clinic. You shouldn’t have any sense of “guilt” about an elective procedure that as you said some might find vain… you paid for a service and not only did you not receive promised/contractual services but you were subjected to unsafe, unethical, illegal medical practices. Another important issue I want to add to your concerns is the lack of support, follow-up and action the state boards of medicine exhibit when their physicians are blatantly negligent or even criminal. It may be time for the public to take legal action against the Medical Boards for their lax supervision and punishment of MD’s which puts the public at risk. This physicians prior behavior regarding false advertising, luring patients in for expensive MRI scans with scare tactics without professional proofs (while turning them away from mammogram screenings which truly put these women at risk) should have alerted the Board that this MAN… yes a MAN and not above the law because he is a physician lacked ethics and scruples befitting a doctor. The Board should be held responsible for further damages patients suffer when they slap a man like this on the hand and pave the way for him to continue his unprofessional conduct. Obviously he has no respect for his patients and seems to view them as dollar signs. Once again… thank you for having the courage and determination to expose such deplorable treatment even at your own financial expense and doing it with such grace and professionalism.

    Comment by Jess — September 21, 2008 @ 5:12 am | Reply

  5. Background: I am a board certified neurosurgeon and fellowship ( yes 521 cases and 12 months, the real way) trained cosmetic surgeon. After trying to start a practice last year in a down economy, I have had my ass kicked and I got it kicked HONESTLY. This recession is going to literally close many cosmetic practices here in Bev Hills as they are extremely expensive to operate. I just want to make 2 points as the author of this web site has had really bad experiences. I was amazed at the rapid opening, marketing and financial success of Dr. Bittner as I heard through the grapevine that he was quickly VERY busy etc. It killed me because I was being truthful to patients about all procedures and ethical in my portrayal of the fact that these are REAL surgical procedures. I am now closing my practice and moving to Louisiana to practice full time neurosurgery feeling a bit of a failure in the “Hollywood” cosmetic surgery field. My patients (all 12 of them) are happy as hell and for that I am grateful.

    So my office manager goes over to apply for a job posting a few months ago at Bittner-land and comes back to tell me ” Oh my God!…He’s doing like 25 surgeries a day! But it didn’t look very sterile like you Dr. B and he walked me right into the rooms where the patients were getting procedures without even asking the patient if it was OK!. Well, I felt like even more of a failure as maybe my web site sucked, or maybe I just wasn’t “cute” enough or maybe, maybe , maybe…etc.
    THEN….I see this web site right here and think….”wait a minute…..are you kidding me?
    So….like the saying goes..”You reap what you sew”
    I feel SO sorry for all you patients that were duped by this bozo and his marketing staff. So bad.
    I wish I could tell you that there is some “board of being a really good, caring doctor” but there isn’t and there never will be.
    Liposuction isn’t taught in ANY university program which brings me to my second point.

    Being a board certified neurosurgeon, I’ve seen alot of action and read alot of books, as you can imagine.
    The public has fueled this skyrocketing demand for cosmetic procedures (except maybe the last year) and everyone and his brother are “specialists”

    Here is the bottom line on Cosmetic procedures in the United States.

    Board certified Plastic Surgeons…..You can graduate, be a Plastic Surgeon and never have done a cosmetic surgery in your life….God’s truth. The reason is that people don’t go to Universities to get cosmetic work done so HOW IN THE HELL ARE THEY GOING TO LEARN IT!

    Comment by Dr. Brennan — November 25, 2008 @ 11:22 pm | Reply

  6. In summary;

    If you are interested in these procedures, find someone who has had a good experience and follow their referral. It will most likely be a good way to go. Do some research. There is NO WAY you should EVER let a doctor perform a surgical procedure on you unless they are a surgeon. Board certified or preparing to take the board exam.(the first few years in practice). I’ll take any background in surgery and training in cosmetic surgery. Not Internal Medicine, Family Practice or sure as HELL not RADIOLOGY !.
    Dermatoligists? Sure, if they are dermatological surgeons and prove they have that degree.

    The big war in this town is the “Board certified Plastic Surgeons” versus…….everybody else.
    Their game is tired and old and all real surgeons know they have a complication rate as high or higher than those trained by other routes. Check out the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery ,aacs.org. There is a very nice Plastic Surgeon here in Beverly Hills and she said she “never saw a case involving the face” in her Plastic Surgery training..?????? Don’t buy this bull about how some board certification can protect you from harm because it’s bull and they know it. Everytime there is a news story about some plastic surgery gone bad you hear this “party line” from the Plastic Surgeons. Usually the surgery gone wrong WAS BY A BOARD CERTIFIED PLASTIC SURGEON!. The only board that tests and cetifies in cosmetic surgery is….big surprise The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery.

    So …..what’s a patient to do. Go with a TV doctor and pay $$$$$ for something simple or go with some bearded dude behind a BAJA Fresh?? You don’t have to go either way, just follow some simple rules.

    1. referral from a friend
    2. check out the internet/training
    3. go for a non-committal visit
    4. Get a feel for wether he/she sounds like he knows what he’s taking about.
    5. Ask “What’s been your biggest complication doc”? ( any REAL surgeon worth his/her salt shouldn’t even blink on this one)
    6. Also ask ” How did you get into this specialty and how many of these have you done?
    7. Ask to see before and after pictures and ask ” Did you do this case doctor?” and “What was special about her case”. ( Docs who put bogus pictures on their web site or in their office will visibly squirm on this one?

    DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES PROCEED IF THERE IS THE SLIGHTEST FUNNY FEELING. Just walk out.

    That’s about it folks! Good Luck

    Dr. B

    Comment by Dr. Brennan — November 25, 2008 @ 11:47 pm | Reply

  7. Thanks so much Dr. Brennan. We appreciate your input. To clairify, many people got “referrals.” There has been some good work done here, it just was not steady and until recently the bad sotries were suppressed. It is believed, and probably very likely, that bittner and his staff posed as patients and posted rave reviews on several forums. Many of us do not know someone personally who has had lipo….we look online for others. Personally, I did not even think aobut that until it was too late. I have never gotten involved with online stuff until now…I don’t even IM!
    Sadly, these possibly fake patients were very convincing to some..and many of us who posted bad experiences have been censored and had our posts removed from forums. Some for good reasons, some not. On many forums, bittner was an advertiser…very prolific. We feel that he had enough pull to influence the supression of any posts that did not favor him. Until I, and a few others, started broaching the ethics of censorship and getting information out on sites that he had no control over, most of the negative posts disappeared.
    I am no expert, but I think there are definitely some things to look for…non of us thought we had to question a man on RODEO DRIVE! Now the sotry is out, CBS has some tips and we are all learning a lot.
    I wonder if some good doctors might get together and publish a site that addresses issues and how to deal wiht thme for plastics and other care? Perhaps an office/site of information for healthcare that is well publicized.—
    I will look into posting some of your directives on a page….check on the site occasionally and comment/add info!
    Thanks again…Lipo in CA will not be the same for a while—hopefully we will have better experiences. But seriously, someone like this does not come around terribly often…I hope! “Narcissistic” has been used buy some….my education is in psychology…I can’t say that my opinion differs..unofficially, of course.

    Comment by Susan — November 26, 2008 @ 12:12 am | Reply

  8. I was a patient of Dr. Bittner’s. I am very self conscious about the surgery sites now. I wasn’t looking to be a size 4 but my own size 10 just a better version.At first with the swelling everything looked ok but not great and yes, better than my shape before – then the swelling went away – and the lumps (which I thought were from the swelling)showed up and magnified because no more swelling. I spent a small fortune to have all this done and the “adit” holes are scars now and SO noticeable!! I am too self conscious to wear a bikini because the “adits” are exactly spaced apart and totally look bad. I have a ledge on my stomach that is absolutely noticeable – my waist is uneven and no longer symetrical – as long as I cover up – I can pretend everything is fine.

    I am too scared to get it fixed- and too self conscious to be comfortable. I look all lumpy from below my breasts down to my knees – I should have never done this – and I am too embarrassed to admit to another doctor that I voluntarily let this moron do this to me. BTW Dr. Bittner didn’t even do all my surgery – after I was drugged up Johnathan Trevor and some chick worked on me. Dr. B worked on me maybe all of 5 minutes. How is that -If I would have known he wasn’t doing the surgery – I would never have done it in the first place. I was so dopey and yes, in pain – I just wanted to go home. Thanks for sharing your ordeal and trauma – It made me feel like I wasn’t alone.

    Comment by Kathleen — February 12, 2009 @ 1:03 am | Reply


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