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do fat cells die

Do fat cells die?

Do fat cells die as a result of fat loss or weight loss?

Fat cells (or adipocytes) do not die in the same way that other cells in the body do. Unlike many cells that have a limited lifespan and undergo programmed cell death (apoptosis), fat cells can persist for many years. 

What happens to fat cells when you gain and lose weight

Fat cells are created during the third trimester of pregnancy and during adolescence.  Once fat cells are formed, they can expand or shrink in size depending on calorie intake.


When you gain weight, the existing fat cells expand to store the excess energy in the form of triglycerides. This process of cell expansion is called "hypertrophy". When you gain significant amount of weight where the upper limit of the storage capacity of the fat cells is reached then the fat cells will multiply. This is called hyperplasia.


When you lose weight, the fat cells shrink as the stored triglycerides are utilised. When you lose weight, fat cells do not die, they will simply reduce in size. There is some evidence that suggests that fat cell count can reduce modestly following severe weight loss.

Can diet cause fat cells to die

Can fat cells die as a result of surgery or non-surgical fat reduction treatments

Liposuction physically removes fat cells from the body through suction, reducing the number of fat cells in the treated area.


Non-invasive treatments like fat freezing, ultrasound cavitation, radiofrequency and fat dissolving injections work differently. Most non-invasive fat reduction treatments aim to induce apoptosis, programmed cell death, in the targeted fat cells. This leads to a reduction of overall fat cells in the treatment areas and therefore a reduction in the total amount of fat cells.


The fat cells that die as a result of fat reduction treatments are generally not replaced by the body. However, new fat can be stored in remaining fat cells and remaining fat cells can multiply as a result of significant fat gain,

Fat reduction treatments

At Fat Freezing Manchester we offer fat freezing treatments for long lasting targeted fat and fat cell reduction. Learn more about fat freezing and our other fat reduction treatments by browsing this website or by booking a consultation through the booking function below.


Consultations are optional and are not required prior to booking fat reduction treatment.

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