Should I Avoid CoolSculpting After Linda Evangelista’s Reaction?
It has been the most popular fat-reduction treatment for a decade. But since Linda Evangelista launched a lawsuit against CoolSculpting, claiming that it had left her brutally ‘disfigured’, many questions have been raised about the procedure. And those who were once considering CoolSculpting for themselves may now be having second thoughts as a result. So, what exactly happened to Linda Evangelista? Is this side effect common? And are we hearing the whole story? We spoke to our medical director, Dr Sophie Shotter, to get her thoughts.
What is CoolSculpting?
CoolSculpting is a brand of cryolipolysis that works by freezing fat cells to -11 degrees C to permanently kill them without harming the surrounding tissues. It’s a non-invasive, FDA-approved treatment that is clinically proven to target hard-to-shift fat that is resistant to diet and exercise, targeting key areas such as the stomach, abdomen, inner thighs, double chin, arms and underneath the buttocks.
Using a vacuum element that pulls the pocket of fat into the applicator to treat as much of the fat as possible, the area is then cooled to a precise temperature at which the fat cells crystallise and die. Over the following twelve weeks, around 25% of the fat cells in the treated area are eliminated naturally from the body – and once they’re gone, they’re gone for good.
What is paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH), and is it common?
When a patient develops PAH, initially, the treatment appears to have been a success. But after a few months, the results gradually disappear, replaced by a firmer, larger pocket of fat resembling the shape of the applicator used during treatment. The critical thing to note is that PAH is incredibly rare – approximately 0.015% of patients will experience this reaction, and it is mentioned as a possible complication in the consent form that every patient must sign before undergoing treatment. It’s a very unfortunate situation where (as it appears) Linda was unaware of the procedure’s risks and then went on to sadly experience them.
The importance of the consultation process
Dr Sophie is a big fan of CoolSculpting, having offered it to her patients for several years and, at Illuminate Skin Clinic, we have seen some beautiful, life-changing results from the procedure. But she stresses that consultation is key. While she has no hesitation in recommending CoolSculpting to her patients after a thorough assessment to determine if they are suitable for treatment, the treatment isn’t suitable for everyone. CoolSculpting is for those who are relatively close to their ideal weight but want to target stubborn areas that are resistant to diet and exercise. CoolSculpting can be repeated to reduce more bulky areas, but it is best suited for people already taking care of their health who see the treatment as an add-on to this, not a standalone method.
It is also crucial that your practitioner discusses the possible risks and side effects of any treatment with you to make an informed decision about whether it is right for you.
Looking at the bigger picture
We would also like to note that when PAH occurs, it only occurs in the treated pockets of fat, not all over the body. So, when someone’s appearance changes dramatically, as it has in the case of Linda Evangelista, that isn’t purely down to paradoxical adipose hyperplasia. There is more at play here than just that.
To find out more about our treatment options or book a consultation with one of our expert practitioners, click here.
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Disclaimer: Please be aware that results and benefits may vary from patient to patient taking into consideration factors such as age, lifestyle and medical history.