ITV News Correspondent Lucy Watson reports on the surgery Evangelista says has damaged her career
One of the original supermodels of the 90s, Linda Evangelista, has been left "permanently deformed" following an alleged botched cosmetic procedure, she wrote in an Instagram post.
The star, who dominated catwalks alongside Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss, said her appearance following the procedure has "destroyed my livelihood" and sent her into “a cycle of deep depression”, leading her to become a recluse.
Evangelista underwent a procedure known as CoolSculpting, or cryolipolysis, which freezes fat, prompting the fat cells to excrete out of the body through the liver.
But the model said she has since developed paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH) - a rare and adverse effect of CoolSculpting, when fatty tissue grows instead of shrinking in response.
Evangelista, 56, wrote on Instagram: “Today I took a big step towards righting a wrong that I have suffered and have kept to myself for over five years.
“To my followers who have wondered why I have not been working while my peers’ careers have been thriving, the reason is that I was brutally disfigured by Zeltiq’s CoolSculpting procedure which did the opposite of what it promised.
“It increased, not decreased, my fat cells and left me permanently deformed even after undergoing two painful, unsuccessful, corrective surgeries.
“I have been left, as the media has described, ‘unrecognizable.’
“I have developed Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia or PAH, a risk of which I was not made aware before I had the procedures.
“PAH has not only destroyed my livelihood, it has sent me into a cycle of deep depression, profound sadness, and the lowest depths of self-loathing.
“In the process, I have become a recluse.”
The CoolSculpting website says the procedure is used for “treatment of visible fat bulges in the submental (under the chin) and submandibular (under the jawline) areas, thigh, abdomen, and flank, along with bra fat, back fat, underneath the buttocks (also known as banana roll), and upper arm”.
The website also warns that “rare side effects may also occur”, and “may cause a visible enlargement in the treated area, which may develop 2 to 5 months after treatment and requires surgical intervention for correction”.
Evangelista also indicated she was taking legal action, adding: “With this lawsuit, I am moving forward to rid myself of my shame, and going public with my story.
“I’m so tired of living this way. I would like to walk out my door with my head held high, despite not looking like myself any longer.”
During her heyday, Evangelista was a regular fixture on the catwalk and major magazine covers, as well as numerous advertising campaigns.
She also appeared alongside Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford and Christy Turlington in the famous music video for George Michael’s hit Freedom! 90.
Zeltiq parent company Allergan has been contacted for comment.
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