Linda Evangelista was one of the top supermodels of the 1990s. Her short hair and appearances on over 700 magazine covers brought her fame and fortune in the modeling world. She retired in 1998 and then resumed her modeling career in 2001. The supermodel is back in the spotlight but not because of an appearance on a runway or in a magazine. Evangelista is in the news due to a cosmetic procedure gone wrong that has kept her out of the public eye for years.
In an Instagram post that was posted online in September, Linda wrote that she was left ?brutally disfigured? after undergoing CoolSculpting and she also found herself suffering from "deep depression."
In the post, Evangelista said "To my followers who have wondered why I have not been working while my peers' careers have been thriving, the reason is that I have been brutally disfigured by Zeltiq's CoolSculpting procedure."
She also filed a lawsuit against Zeltiq Aesthetics where she is seeking damages in the amount of 50-million dollars. When contacted by a number of media outlets, Zeltiq Aesthetics did not return any requests for a comment on the lawsuit.
Evangelista went on to say she has "been left, as the media has described, 'unrecognizable'." Even after undergoing two corrective surgeries, Linda claims she is still "disfigured" as the surgeries were not able to help her reverse the results of the CoolSculpting treatments.
CoolSculpting is a nonsurgical fat reduction process, approved by the FDA, that reduces excess body fat that is located under the skin. The treatment cools this subcutaneous fat to a point that the targeted fat cells are destroyed and then naturally absorbed by the body of the patient. Some of the most popular treatment areas include the abdomen, the flanks, under the chin and areas of fat on the back and arms.
The procedure starts with the placement of a handheld device, containing applicators, and a gel pad on the area of the body being treated by the doctor. The applicator will work to cool the targeted fat and then a suction device removes the fat while the device is moved over the skin.
CoolSculpting is a popular treatment because it is noninvasive as opposed to liposuction that requires incisions to be made in the body in order to extract the targeted fat. A CoolSculpting procedure does not include the pain, compression garments or anesthesia that are associated with having a liposuction procedure. An ideal candidate should be within 20 pounds of their ideal weight and should not be pregnant or have a total weight that is classified as being obese.
There will be some swelling and bruising in the treated area of the body after the procedure due to the exposure to the cold temperature. These conditions will resolve on their own after a few weeks. Most patients will begin to see some results within a month, but it might take around three months to see the final results. In addition, it can take up to three sessions (for each area that is being treated) to gain the desired results.
According to Evangelista, the treatment actually increased the amount of her fat cells. Because of the increase in the number of fat cells, she claims to be "permanently deformed."
Linda also says she has developed Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia (PAH) which has been reported to be an adverse reaction to CoolSculpting that results in cells actually growing in the targeted area (according to a 2014 case report in JAMA Dermatology).
In her lawsuit, the former supermodel was said to be "in good physical shape and at a healthy weight and body mass index prior to using Zeltiq's CoolSculpting System."
"Beginning in August 2015 through February 2016, Ms. Evangelista underwent seven treatments using the Zeltiq CoolSculpting System for the intended purpose of breaking down fat cells in her abdomen, flanks, back and bra area, inner thighs and chin. Following the final round of CoolSculpting treatments, Ms. Evangelista noticed that the areas treated with the CoolSculpting System were getting larger, not smaller, as they had after her previous CoolSculpting treatments."
It should be noted that PAH is listed as a possible side effect on the safety information page of the CoolSculpting website. The page also suggests having a procedure such as liposuction "for correction."
The lawsuit states that Evangelista was not aware of PAH being an "adverse effect associated with use of the CoolSculpting System."
One doctor told USA Today that the condition suffered by Evangelista is a rare complication that only happens to ?one in several thousand people? who decides to have the procedure.
In her Instagram post, Linda wrote "PAH has not only destroyed my livelihood, it sent me into a cycle of deep depression, profound sadness and the lowest depths of self-loathing."
The lawsuit is ongoing.