The fat-reducing process known as CoolSculpting can cause a side effect – paradoxical adipose hyperplasia – that can result in needed surgeries and severe disfigurement in greater numbers than was previously thought, according to a recent article in The New York Times.

If you or a loved one underwent CoolSculpting and suffered P.A.H. or other side effects that caused serious injury or disfigurement, you may have grounds for a CoolSculpting lawsuit.

Kline & Specter PC, with more than 50 attorneys, five of whom are also highly skilled medical doctors – the most in the nation – has the expertise and experience to litigate CoolSculpting lawsuits. We will provide a free and confidential review of your case and we work on a contingent fee basis, meaning we don’t get paid unless you win your case.

CoolSculpting was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2010. In recent years, the company that owns CoolSculpting, AbbVie subsidiary Allergan Aesthetics, has said the incidence of P.A.H. was very rare, about one in every 3,000 treatments. But The Times examination, which relied on internal company documents, lawsuits, medical studies and interviews, found the risk to patients may be “considerably higher.”

One reason is simple – most patients undergo more than one treatment. Allergan itself advises getting at least two treatments.

There is also case evidence. The Times noted one doctor reported that four in 510 patients who underwent CoolSculpting, or one in 128, were diagnosed with P.A.H. In another instance, a group of doctors reported the side effect in fully one percent of patients. And interviews with more than a dozen dermatologists and plastic surgeons also indicated a greater incidence of the side effect than the company suggests is the case.

CoolSculpting has become common in doctor offices and medical spas, with more than 17 million treatments sold and revenues totaling more than $2 billion. It uses technology known as cryolipolysis and involves placing the device onto a particular part of the body, often the stomach or chin, to freeze fat cells, leaving them to die and be absorbed in the body. However, in some cases the fat can grow, harden and lodge in the body, requiring surgery to remove the hardened fat. The side effect can take months to become visible.

Attention about the risk of CoolSculpting arose in 2021, two years before The Times article, when supermodel Linda Evangelista wrote about her experience with the technique. She noted that instead of decreasing her fat cells, it increased them and left her “permanently deformed.” Others also have come forward, some complaining about large masses that became noticeable in their abdomens.

A number of patients have suffered side effects but did not make their ailments public after reaching confidential settlements with the device maker.