Linda Evangelista Says Physique-Sculpting Process Left Her ‘Disfigured’

Linda Evangelista, the supermodel made well-known within the Nineteen Nineties, mentioned she had turn out to be “brutally disfigured” and “unrecognizable” after a beauty body-sculpting process that had turned her right into a recluse.

In an Instagram publish on Wednesday, she referred to submitting a lawsuit, saying that she was taking “an enormous step in the direction of righting a mistaken that I’ve suffered and have saved to myself for over 5 years.”

She added: “To my followers who’ve puzzled why I’ve not been working whereas my friends’ careers have been thriving, the reason being that I used to be brutally disfigured by Zeltiq’s CoolSculpting process which did the other of what it promised.”

Ms. Evangelista, 56, mentioned that after the fat-freezing process she developed paradoxical adipose hyperplasia, a facet impact during which sufferers develop agency tissue lots within the remedy areas.

She mentioned the beauty process left her “completely deformed even after present process two painful, unsuccessful, corrective surgical procedures.” She mentioned she had not been informed of the chance.

“PAH has not solely destroyed my livelihood, it has despatched me right into a cycle of deep melancholy, profound unhappiness, and the bottom depths of self-loathing,” she wrote. “Within the course of, I’ve turn out to be a recluse.”

Ms. Evangelista, who was generally known as one of many 5 prime supermodels within the Nineteen Nineties, detailed her story on Instagram, the place she has 912,000 followers and the place hundreds of individuals commented or expressed assist. Her story was additionally extensively coated in worldwide and nationwide media shops.

[Associated: What is CoolSculpting?]

Ms. Evangelista filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against Zeltiq Aesthetics Inc., in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The suit said she was seeking compensatory damages of $50 million for her distress and loss of work, promotions and public appearances.

Representatives for the company did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Thursday. A lawyer for Ms. Evangelista was not immediately available for comment.

The lawsuit said Ms. Evangelista had seven treatments from August 2015 through February 2016 to break down fat cells in her abdomen, flanks, back and bra area, inner thighs, and chin. Within a few months, she developed “hard, bulging, painful masses under her skin in those areas,” it said, and was given a diagnosis of PAH in June 2016.

The filing said her quality of life, her career and her body “were all ruined in 2016 after she was permanently disfigured” by the procedure and the multiple attempts at corrective surgery that followed.

“Ms. Evangelista enjoyed a wildly successful and lucrative modeling career from 1984 through 2016, until she was permanently injured and disfigured by Zeltiq’s CoolSculpting System,” the lawsuit said.

The suit accused the company of having “intentionally concealed” the risks or “failed to adequately warn” about them, and said Ms. Evangelista developed depression and a fear of going outside.

Ms. Evangelista had full body liposuctions after the diagnosis by a doctor referred to her by Zeltiq in 2016 and 2017, but the procedures were unsuccessful and resulted in scarring, the lawsuit said.

“Ms. Evangelista was promised a more contoured appearance; instead, the target fat cells actually increased in number and size and formed hard, bulging masses under her skin,” it said.

According to CoolSculpting, its procedure has been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of visible fat bulges.

In response to questions, the F.D.A. said in an email that it could not comment on litigation, but that it was “committed to ensuring medical devices are safe and effective and that patients can be fully informed when making personal health decisions.” It said that it monitors reports from consumers of adverse events after a device reaches the market and would “take action where appropriate.”

Cryolipolysis, the name of the nonsurgical fat-freezing procedure, uses cold temperature to break down fat cells, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

It is mostly used by patients who want to reduce a specific fat bulge that they have been unable to diminish through other means. Generally, the area of concern is “vacuumed” into the hollow of an applicator, where it is subjected to cold temperature.

The surgeons’ society said the complication rate was low, with less than 1 percent of patients who may develop paradoxical fat hyperplasia, which is an unexpected increase in the number of fat cells. The side effect is more common in men than in women, the society said.

Ms. Evangelista also said that the public scrutiny of her appearance had harmed her emotionally. “I have been left, as the media has described, ‘unrecognizable,’” she said.

Jonah E. Bromwich contributed reporting.

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