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Objectives: To review the success rates for liposuction of lipomas in dogs, report early complications and medium-term outcomes and formulate recommendations on the most appropriate candidates for liposuction.

Methods: Retrospective study of 20 dogs with 76 lipomas diagnosed by cytology, in which dry liposuction was attempted. Case records were reviewed for number and size of the lipomas, efficacy of liposuction, frequency and types of complication and likelihood of recurrence.

Results: Liposuction was successful in removing 73 of 76 lipomas (96%). Simple, encapsulated lipomas less than 15 cm in diameter were most easily removed, with minimal risk of complication. Giant lipomas contained fibrous trabeculae that hindered liposuction and resulted in poor fat retrieval. Giant lipomas were also associated with a high risk of bruising, haematoma and seroma, especially when inguinal in location. Regrowth was noted at follow-up between 9 and 36 months in 28% of lipomas.

Clinical Significance: Liposuction may be less invasive and more attractive to owners than conventional surgery for lipomas up to 15 cm in diameter. Liposuction is not recommended for infiltrative or giant inguinal lipomas. Regrowth can be expected in a high proportion of lipomas, which should be considered when choosing liposuction over conventional excision.