Can freezing your fat cells kill them?

A popular question we get asked many times is “can freezing your fat cells kill them”? Fat Freezing treatments, also known as Cryolipolysis, is a procedure that exposes fat cells to cold temperatures. Freezing the fat cells causes a process called Apoptosis. Apoptosis means “programmed cell death”. This means that the freezing temperatures will cause some of the fat cells to die off during this process. So, YES, freezing your fat cells will kill some of them.

Clinical studies have shown that by exposing fat cells to cold temperatures, approximately 20% – 40% of the cells could be permanently destroyed. This can lead to long-lasting results when maintaining your weight.

During the freezing process, the fat cells shrink, crystalise and disintegrate. This triggers an inflammatory response in your body in the coming days and weeks after your treatment. The inflammatory response causes scavenger cells, called macrophages, to enter the area to metabolise and clear the dead and dying adipose cells. Lipids released from the dead fat cells are transported through your lymphatic system and are eliminated from your body in the normal waste process.

Fat Freezing is a painless procedure, so whilst Apoptosis sounds pretty intense for your fat cells, you won’t actually feel anything happening in your body. This all happens behind the scenes as you go about your daily routine.

Following your Fat Freezing treatment, it takes around 8 – 12 weeks for your body to complete this process and for results to become visible. We would normally recommend 3 treatments per body area to achieve the best results.

Fat cells are susceptible to extremes of temperatures, this means that when you expose them to cold temperatures from +4°c and -10°c or when you heat them between 43°c – 45°c this will cause Apoptosis. To achieve visible and long-lasting results we would recommend choosing non-surgical fat reduction treatments that achieve Apoptosis.

Body Sculpting Treatments that cause Apoptosis:

At The Body Clinic, we offer the following non-surgical fat reduction treatments that destroy fat cells and achieve Apoptosis.

Fat Freezing

Exilis Elite

Ultrasound Cavitation


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