Linda Evangelista Not the Only One 'Disfigured' by Cosmetic Procedure

'New York Times' does a deep dive into CoolSculpting
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2023 3:00 AM CDT
Linda Evangelista Far From the Only Person 'Disfigured' by Fat-Freezing Procedure
Linda Evangelista appears following the FENDI Spring Summer 2023 collection presentation during Fashion Week, Friday Sept. 9, 2022 in New York.   (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)

Linda Evangelista went public in 2021 with her story of being "brutally disfigured" by a cosmetic procedure known as CoolSculpting. Now, the New York Times is out with an exposé on the procedure that alleges the serious side effect suffered by the supermodel appears to be more common than previously known. CoolSculpting is a so-called fat-freezing procedure technically known as cryolipolysis, in which pockets of fat cells are frozen, die, and are absorbed by the body. But sometimes, patients instead experience what's known as paradoxical adipose hyperplasia, in which the fat instead grows, hardens, and gets lodged in the body.

Allergan Aesthetics, the unit of pharmaceutical giant AbbVie that owns CoolSculpting, claims PAH only occurs in about 1 in 3,000 patients. But the Times looked at lawsuits, medical studies, interviews, and internal documents and came to the conclusion that the risk may actually be "considerably higher"—and that instances of PAH have been on the rise since CoolSculpting launched. Doctors the Times spoke to agreed that they see a higher level of the side effect in their patients than the 0.033% claimed by Allergan. One doctor suggested in 2017 that PAH should actually be classified as a "common" or "frequent," rather than "rare," adverse event associated with CoolSculpting. Read the full article, which includes interviews with people who've been affected by PAH, here. (More Longform stories.)

Stories to sink your teeth into.
Get our roundup of longform stories every Saturday.
Sign up
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.