Hair Loss and Bariatric Surgery

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

While the thought of hair loss can be stressful, understanding the realities of hair loss after bariatric surgery can put some patients reservations to rest.

Dr. Edward Hill discusses hair loss in bariatric surgery patients in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Hair follicles remain in a constant state of growth and a state of rest, known as the telogen phase. At any one point, about 90 percent of hair is growing while 10 percent is being lost.

Weight loss surgery patients undergo multiple stressors that may lead to an acute, diffuse hair loss known as telogen effluvian.

Hair loss experienced after surgery can result in a shift of a much greater percentage of hairs into the dormant telogen phase. About 40 percent of bariatric patients undergo this response; it typically lasts less than six months and hair re-grows if proper nutrition is maintained.

Certain stressors cannot be avoided like the surgery itself, some medications like anesthesia and acute weight loss.

Nutrition can play a key role in maintaining and re-growing hair after surgery. Low protein intake, iron and zinc deficiencies can result in hair loss as well. Ensuring sufficient protein intake, between 60 and 75 grams per day, and taking a multivitamin can minimize these risks and promote healing.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.