TORONTO -- Canadian fashion model Linda Evangelista, who once dominated the runways alongside peers Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington, says she’s been left "permanently deformed" from a non-surgical cosmetic procedure that she underwent approximately five years ago.

In a message posted to Instagram early Thursday morning, the 90s-era supermodel explained to fans why she has not been steadily working while her 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," she wrote.

"I have been left, as the media has described, 'unrecognizable.'"

"CoolSculpting" is a cosmetic treatment that promises to "freeze away unwanted fat." It is produced by the pharmaceutical company, Allergan, which had not yet responded to CTV News' request for comment at the time this story was published.

Evangelista said she became deeply depressed and reclusive in the years following the treatment, and made brief mention of taking legal action against the company. She is seeking US$50 million in damages from a lawsuit she filed this week in New York, according to Reuters.

"I have developed Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia or PAH, a risk of which I was not made aware before I had the procedures," Evangelista said. "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."

She added: "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."

Born in St. Catharines, Ont., Evangelista was regularly featured on the covers of the world’s leading fashion magazines in the 1990s.