The surgeon, who had worked on a series of stars including Heidi Montag, Janice Dickinson and Gene Simmons, died after his vehicle crashed down a cliff off California's Pacific Coast Highway.
And his former partner, Charmaine Blake, reveals that the doctor was busy concentrating on his cell phone instead of driving.
She tells People.com, "He lived up in Malibu on a tiny street and he was texting while driving and he accidentally went over the cliff."
California Highway Patrol officials confirm that Ryan was using his phone before his death, but refused to single out that as the cause of the accident.
Officer Steven Reid tells the publication, "It is one of the elements that we are investigating."
Ryan hit headlines earlier this year (10) when he came under fire for transforming Montag with 10 cosmetic procedures in one day.