You have probably seen advertisements for the popular “non-surgical”, “no exercise”, “no diet” weight loss procedure called CoolSculpting. But is it safe? When CoolSculpting came out in 2005, it was all the rage in weight loss at the time it was released. CoolSculpting is claimed to be a nonsurgical procedure that removes fat in various areas, with little to no downtime, by freezing fats cells in the affected areas. However, after being on the market for 15 years, people are now claiming to have developed unfortunate and irreversible side effects from the procedure. Because of this, many are filing lawsuits against the makers of CoolSculpting. Will this result in a mass tort? Read on to find out more:

What is CoolSculpting?

CoolSculpting is a non-invasive and non-surgical weight loss medical procedure that claims to reduce fat cells beneath the skin. The process uses a procedure called cryolipolysis which works by placing a roll of fat into two panels that then cools the fat to a freezing temperature. The procedure also claims it can reduce the appearance of cellulite and reduce excess fat underneath the chin. The average cost of this procedure is around $2000-$4000. The following are the most common parts of the body people treat with CoolSculpting:

  • Thighs
  • Lower back
  • Stomach
  • Hips
  • Sides
  • Butt
  • Legs
  • Arms

This procedure is currently FDA approved and has not been recalled at this time. The following are the advertised side effects and warnings of CoolSculpting:

  • Tugging sensation at the treatment site
  • Pain, stinging, or aching at the treatment site
  • Temporary redness, swelling, bruising, and skin sensitivity at the treatment site
  • Paradoxical hyperplasia
  • Late-onset pain
  • Freeze burn/frostbite
  • Vasovagal symptoms
  • Subcutaneous induration
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Hernia
  • Treatment Area Demarcation (TAD)
  • Cold panniculitis

Is CoolSculpting Harming People?

After being on the market for approximately 15 years, many are now alleging injuries developed, specifically a condition called Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia (PAH). People are claiming to develop this condition after having the CoolSculpting procedure performed. This condition results in an opposite weight loss effect and can permanently damage the treated area causing extreme deformities to the body. These deformities include the treated area to appear even larger than previously. It is considered an overgrowth of fatty tissue that becomes hardened and visibly enlarged.

You cannot treat PAH as regular fat tissue and do not respond to regular weight loss methods. As a result, PAH is permanent on the body and will not go away on its own. The only way to treat PAH from CoolSculpting is invasive surgery. While PAH is not technically dangerous or life-threatening, many are filing lawsuits against the makers of CoolSculpting for compensation for the permanent deformities and injuries caused by the procedure.

Is There a Lawsuit?

Because the lawsuits are so new, there is not an official MDL established at this time. Additionally, many are claiming to have growing bulges on their bodies that are currently undiagnosed after undergoing the Coolsculpting procedure.

Moreover, there is currently a class-action lawsuit against CoolSculpting for false advertising. The lawsuit is: Carmen Otero and Abbey Lerman v. Zeltiq Aesthetics Inc., Case No. BC659192, in the Superior Court for Los Angeles County, California. Additionally, there is only one manufacturer of CoolSculpting which is Zeltiq Aesthetics whose parent company is Allergan plc.