Five months after legendary supermodel Linda Evangelista shared with the world that she stepped away from the public eye because of a CoolSculpting procedure gone wrong, she’s finally opening up about the ordeal and showing photos of her body.
In a new interview with People Magazine, Evangelista shared the painful process she’s been going through after she claimed that a CoolSculpting fat-reduction procedure left her “permanently deformed” in a powerful Instagram post last September.
In the social media post, she explained that instead of decreasing fat cells, the procedure actually did the opposite and increased them. She developed the rare side effect, Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia or PAH, and described herself as being “permanently deformed even after two painful, unsuccessful, corrective surgeries.” In the same post she announced that she was taking legal action against Zeltiq Aesthetics, the parent company of CoolSculpting.
Now in her new interview, she explained why she’s finally willing to speak about the situation. “I can’t live like this anymore, in hiding and shame,” she told People. “I just couldn’t live in this pain any longer.”
She said she realized something went wrong with the procedure, when she noticed about three months later that there were bulges on the areas she targets, at her chin, thighs and bra area, that hardened then turned numb.
Evangelista said she tried dieting and exercising more. “I got to where I wasn’t eating at all. I thought I was losing my mind.” She finally saw a doctor in 2016 and was diagnosed with Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia, which is a complication that “no amount of dieting, and no amount of exercise was ever going to fix it,” she was told.
Dermatologist Marisa Garshick, MD, FAAD told GRAZIA when the news first broke in September that PAH is “considered a rare complication of cryolipolysis, a non-invasive treatment that has been developed to selectively freeze fat cells to help eliminate them. [PAH] refers to the overgrowth of fatty tissue that can appear as a well-demarcated mass which is often considered a delayed complication as it may not appear for months after the procedure, with some reports suggesting 8-24 weeks after the initial procedure.”
Evangelista eventually underwent two corrective full-body liposuction surgeries, and even though she wore compression garments, girdles and a chin strap for eight weeks to prevent PAH from returning, it did. According to the model, it “wasn’t even a little bit better.”
She detailed that the bulges she has are hard “protrusions.” “If I walk without a girdle in a dress, I will have chafing to the point of almost bleeding,” she told the magazine. “Because it’s not like soft fat rubbing, it’s like hard fat rubbing.”
While she said she doesn’t look in the mirror anymore because it “doesn’t look like me,” she wants to share her story to help others.
On Wednesday she shared photos from her new spread on Instagram writing, “I’m not done telling my story, and I will continue sharing my experience to rid myself of shame, learn to love myself again, and hopefully help others in the process.”