A Beverly Hills plastic surgeon who claims to have turned fat, extricated in liposuction, into biofuel for his car has skipped town after US officials raided his surgery in an investigation into his procedures.
Dr Craig Alan Bittner, who runs the Liposculpture clinic on Rodeo Drive, said that he had created “lipodiesel” with his patients’ excess subcutaneous fat. Dr Bittner is under investigation by the California Department of Public Health because it is illegal in the state to use human medical waste to power vehicles.
Bittner reportedly discussed his use of “lipodiesel” on a website, lipodiesel.com, that has been taken down, recounts the London Times. “The vast majority of my patients request that I use their fat for fuel–and I have more fat than I can use,” he reportedly wrote on the now-former site.
Authorities report that he has not been located. In a letter posted on his clinic website, Bittner says he’s now doing volunteer work in South America.
“After 10 years in practice, I have treated over 40,000 patients, including almost 7,000 liposculpture patients. I am proud to be able to tell you that the record of my liposculpture practice has been impeccable; not one single serious complication or infection,” he writes.
The cosmetic surgeon told Forbes.com that he used the blubber to power two cars including his four-wheel-drive Ford. He also reportedly wrote about the practice on his website, lipodiesel.com, which has since been shut down. “The vast majority of my patients request that I use their fat for fuel – and I have more fat than I can use,” he wrote.
“Not only do they get to lose their love handles or chubby belly but they get to take part in saving the earth.”
Bittner’s claimed fuel-saving technique came to light after patients filed lawsuits contending that Bittner allowed his assistant and his girlfriend to perform surgeries without a medical license, the news magazine writes. “Attorney Andrew Besser, who represents three patients, says the assistant and girlfriend removed too much fat from clients and left them disfigured.”
The patients claim that they found Dr Bittner via the internet and arranged pre-operative consultations at his office, but instead of Dr Bittner conducting the consultation, it was his office manager Darcy, according the Beverly Hills Courier.