Canadian supermodel Linda Evangelista has recently revealed that she underwent a procedure that intends to decrease fat cells in the body, but it has now left her “deformed,” according to Health.
Speaking out on Instagram, Evangelista wrote that she developed paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH) after undergoing the fat-freezing procedure called CoolSculpting. She said that she was not warned of this risk before consenting to the procedure.
PAH is a rare, previously unreported side effect of cryolipolysis – a non-invasive reduction of fat with localized cutaneous cooling, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
According to a 2018 article published in Science Daily, PAH leaves an area of the body with a “painless, visibly enlarged, firm, well-demarcated mass” under the skin.
The 56-year-old wrote, “Today I took a big step towards righting a wrong that I have suffered and have kept to myself for over five years.”
Explaining why she has not been modeling in recent years, Evangelista wrote, “The reason is that I was brutally disfigured by Zeltiq’s CoolSculpting procedure which did the opposite of what it promised.”
“It increased, not decreased, my fat cells and left me permanently deformed even after undergoing two painful, unsuccessful, corrective surgeries,” she added. “I have been left, as the media has described, ‘unrecognizable.’”
Zeltiq Aesthetics, which markets and licenses devices used for cryolipolysis procedures, says CoolSculpting reduces fat by applying a “cooling panel” to the body. One session of CoolSculpting Elite treatment reduces up to 25% of fat cells in the affected area, the company claims.
“CoolSculpting may cause a visible enlargement in the treated area which may develop two to five months after treatment and requires surgical intervention for correction,” warns the website of Allergan, of which ZELTIQ Aesthetics is a subsidiary.
Evangelista went on to say that PAH has now changed her life for the worse. She wrote, “PAH has not only destroyed my livelihood, it has sent me into a cycle of deep depression, profound sadness, and the lowest depths of self-loathing. In the process, I have become a recluse.”
The Unzipped actress said she is going to take legal action against the makers of CoolSculpting.
“With this lawsuit, I am moving forward to rid myself of my shame, and going public with my story,” she added. “I’m so tired of living this way. I would like to walk out my door with my head held high, despite not looking like myself any longer.”