Linda Evangelista and CoolSculpting

In late 2021, former supermodel Linda Evangelista shared an Instagram post (#TheTruth #MyStory | Instagram) about her CoolSculpting experiences. She said she was depressed and rarely went out in public as a result of her CoolSculpting treatments.

Soon after, she filed a lawsuit against CoolSculpting’s parent company (Allergan/AbbVie) and demanded $50 million! Below is the entire account:

Cryolipolysis and its side effects

Cryolipolysis has been around for 16 years now and was discovered by CoolSculpting (then called Zeltiq). Before FDA approval, much research was done on side effects. These are limited, namely:

  • late onset pain (1 in 6,000)
  • severe pain (1 in 6,000)
  • hyperpigmentation (1 in 11,000)
  • frostbite (1 in 15,000)
  • paradoxical hyperplasia (1/3,000)
  • demarcation (1/20,000

The first four side effects are annoying, but disappear after some time. Paradoxical hyperplasia (PAH) and demarcation do not. An experienced practitioner can minimize chances of demarcation. PAH is bad luck.

In PAH, fat cells are not broken down, but clump together resulting in a thickened and sensitive adipose tissue. Much research has been done, but the cause of this reaction to cryolipolysis has not been determined.

View this document for the full list of side effects with CoolSculpting.

Experiences with PAH in our clinics

Our own research on 80,000 CoolSculpting treatments shows the following:

  • With Generation 1 and 2 machines, we had 13 cases of PAH.
  • Not one on double chin or arms. 2 on legs and 11 on belly/love hands
  • No PAH detected yet since CoolSculpting Elite (generation 3)
    (0 cases out of 10,217 treatments).
  • 12 of 13 PAH patients have chosen liposuction and are satisfied. Allergan fully reimbursed for liposuction

PAH with Linda Evangelista

After posting her Instagram post, the stories around CoolSculpting exploded. Google Trends shows that on Sept. 23, 2021, the number of searchers for CoolSculpting tripled. A publication in People with photos (see below) provided a second spike.

The supermodel with more 700 magazine covers to her credit feared her career was over. In the complaint to Allergan, she referred to side effects from CoolSculpting treatments in the period August 2015 and February 2016. In June 2016, she went to her doctor for a solution, and this is where something went badly wrong.

Little information can be found on what exactly happened in the period between 2016 and 2021. Some media reported that she would have undergone liposuction twice. In our experience, liposuction removes PAH very nicely and completely.

The stories went a long way. The stories went a long way.For example, Linda would have developed PAH in her face as well. In doing so, they then posted the photos below. We do not see hyperplasia, but a less sharp jawline due to weight gain and aging (loss of collagen).

Photos in People in February 2022 provided more insight. Photo one shows a clear lobe of fat under her armpits and photo two shows a lobe on her upper inner thigh.

The story says she has done liposuction, based on the photo we suspect these photos were taken before liposuction.

On July 19, 2022, Linda reached a settlement with Allergan. In an Instagram post Evangelista announced. Evangelista and Allergan indicated they would not comment further on the matter.

Introducing Coolsculpting Elite

In late 2022, AbbVie/Allergan introduced CoolSculpting Elite. The machine is the third generation machine with some major improvements such as:

  • Applicators with better fit
  • Other mode of suction
  • higher cooling temperature
  • Larger cooling surface

It is still too early to rule out PAH, but research at the four largest CoolSculpting practitioners in Europe that after more than 20,000 treatments with the CoolSculpting Elite no hyperplasia case has yet been identified.

Draw your own conclusions. We fully support this treatment and have made thousands of clients happy in recent years. More than 500 clients have given us an average of 8.4 on the independent website Clinic Experiences.

Alice Hart-Davis tells The Times

I tried the same treatment as Linda Evangelista. I have had this treatment – CoolSculpting – several times and I can tell you that when it works well, it is fantastic.

Lauren Verster

After three pregnancies, I couldn’t get rid of the fat under my belly button. Now I do!

Stella Bergsma

See how I become a popsicle here! 🥶🥶🥶

The benefits of CoolSculpting