Dr. Lance Wyatt is out on $50,000 bail Friday, but still faces allegations of filming nude patients without their consent. Wyatt's medical office was closed after his arrest Thursday and there is no word on when he will be working again. Patrick Healy reports from West Hollywood for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on August 3, 2012.
A former medical colleague expressed surprise and bewilderment at the revelation of misconduct allegations against westside plastic surgeon Lance Everett Wyatt.
Wyatt was arrested Thursday in connection with secretly taking video of undressed patients.
"I've always known him to be a very charitable, congenial, humble guy, and a talented surgeon," said Randal Haworth, who met Wyatt at UCLA when Wyatt was a resident and Haworth was on fellowship.
Wyatt did not return a call seeking comment.
Wyatt has been honored with research awards from UCLA and the National Institutes of Health. He was selected for a White House Fellowship he served in the year 2000.
Wyatt came to medicine from a prominent medical family. His sister Lacey Wyatt has a family practice.
His mother Gail Wyatt, Ph.D., a psychologist, is associate director of the UCLA AIDS Institute and director, UCLA Sexual Health Program.
His father Lewis Wyatt Jr., an ob/gyn, has his office next door to his son's plastic surgery practice on an upper floor of the east medical office tower on West Third Street.
Lance Wyatt has privileges at adjacent Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, but is not a staff physician, according to Sally Stewart, media relations manager at Cedars.
Lance Wyatt was released from custody Thursday evening after posting $50,000 bail. His office remained closed Friday. The telephone answering machine did not say when his office would reopen.
Both his parents were out of their respective medical offices Friday, callers were told.
Lance Wyatt has a court date for arraignemnt on August 23.
The Los Angeles City Attorney's office contends that a year ago, a Wyatt patient discovered a hidden video camera while she was in his office for a post-op exam. The patient took the camera to law enforcement. California's Medical Board also took a role in the investigation.
Viewing the video revealed a second patient had been recorded while disrobing and being examined, according to Richard E.Kraft, supervising attorney, special victims section.
The criminal complaint alleges six misdemeanor counts, two of them involving unlawful viewing, and two for unlawful recording.
In addition, the filing alleges unlawful force and misdemeanor sexual battery.
The contention is the video shows touching by Lance Wyatt beyond what was necessary for medical purposes and allegedly for gratification, though the complaint also indicates this was not apparent to the patient.
"The victim was at the time unconscious of the nature of the act because the perpetrator fraudulently represented that the touching served a professional purpose," according to the complaint.
NBC does not name victims in sex crimes.
Taking post-op photographs is routine, and video is often recorded during pre-op consultations for the patient's review, but taking post-op video is unusual, according to Haworth.
"It's strange, and I don't understand the purpose of actually taking a video," Haworth said, adding that, in any event, patient consent is required.
Given the reality that aesthetic plastic surgery often involves body areas such as breasts and thighs, it is a common practice of surgeons to have a "chaperone" present during examinations, according to Haworth.
"Touching is going to occur. So you better have a witness there, to document things, to not only protect the patient, but to protect the doctor," Haworth said.
Lance Wyatt did not have a chaperone present during the post-op sessions, according to court documents.