PhotoIt's not just the rich and famous getting liposuction these days. The ordinary neighborhood dog might be getting it as well, and not just so it looks good when it squats in the neighbor’s yard.

Liposuction is used for very different reasons in dogs. Ohio veterinarian Dr. Rebecca Pentecost says liposuction is a new way to treat “benign fatty masses” called lipomas, that grow on older and overweight animals, especially dogs.

Pentecost practices at Animal Clinic Northview, a northeast Ohio pet hospital that is nationally known for its advanced procedures.

In a 2011 NIH study, liposuction was successful in removing 73 of 76 lipomas (96%). However, the study authors noted that regrowth is an issue with both liposuction and traditional surgery. Regrowth was noted at follow-up between 9 and 36 months in 28% of lipomas.

Pre-liposuction, geriatric dogs had to undergo a major surgery that would require up to 30 stitches and a lengthy recovery. With the new procedure the liposuction is done through a small incision, and the pet is usually back to normal in 48 hours or less.

The cost is a little higher but many pet owners feel the faster recovery time, less pain and smaller incision make up for it.

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