Most people are concerned about Post Surgery Hair Loss. I’m here to talk to you today about hair loss after bariatric surgery. This is a very common concern amongst my preoperative patients and my post-operative patients because it is a very real issue. You can help prevent it but most importantly, this serves to get you to understand what’s going on. So the first thing that we find is a hair loss various pipe by procedure so the gastric bypass procedure which causes the most weight loss. The fastest rate we see the the most hair loss with a sleeve gastrectomy will see some but it tends to be fairly mild. With gastric banding we see almost no wait no hair loss but we also don’t see a lot of weight loss as well.
I think it’s really not a commonly performed procedure and can probably be ignored for now, but what we really see is hair loss with a gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy tends to be more prevalent. The first thing that it’s important to recognize that this hair loss is almost always temporary, and we start to see the first signs of around three months after the surgery. It peaks and hits its max around six months but by nine months we’re starting to see the hair come back in. Within about 18 months to two years the hair is probably back to around 95 percent or more of what it was before.
Women for some reason seemed to be more susceptible than men i’m not sure if this is because women pay more attention to their hair than men or or any other factors but in my practice for certain i’m seeing this as a more of a problem amongst the amongst my female patients but again it’s important to write this is a temporary thing. It’s also heavily dependent on the amount of hair that you have so if you have a lot of hair to begin with the amount of hair you lose typically is not going to be all that noticeable. You’ll notice it when you’re brushing your hair in the shower but you’re not going to necessarily have feel like it’s a major cosmetic issue. However if you start with relatively thin hair that’s when we can see patients with really substantial hair loss. Nutrition is probably a significant issue and it may also be the rapid weight loss that result from nutritional deficiencies.
But some things that we we do know is that an iron deficiency is can absolutely cause of some hair loss. In fact when I see hair loss after a year of a year more after surgery I pretty much know that that patient has an iron deficiency and because we see so much iron deficiency after gastric bypass. Somewhere around ten fifteen percent of patients will have significant iron deficiency not requiring transfusions or any infusions of iron but aquatic supplementation. Because of this we so we can certainly attribute some of the hair loss to the iron deficiency less common is zinc deficiency. In patients who are really struggling with hair loss beyond the usual amount that we expect i’ll certainly send them for a zinc level and then also protein. In my opinion, the most damage is done within the first 3 months. I think that a lot of the damage is done in those first three months.
We don’t start to see the hair loss until around three or more months afterward but it’s important to maintain the protein intake as best we can in those first three months. Those of you who follow my writing will say: “well I thought you said proteins not all that important”. In the long run i do not want patients focusing on eating a lot of protein but in those first 3 months i think it’s critical those are the month we’re actually do use the protein shakes and those are the months where I do and encourage the protein-first nutritional approach. After three months patients are able to tolerate a reasonable diet that’s when we can push the vegetables-first model that that should carry you throughout the rest of your life. So in terms of things you can do to prevent hair loss what i recommend to my patients is biotin, which is a great source of B vitamin. (Dose 10mg). – It is sold sometimes in one in 2mg pill so you have to make sure you find that either 5 or 10mg pills.
After surgery the first three months do everything you possibly can to get adequate protein intake we we stress 50 grams per day for women 60 grams for men and and and i think that’s critically important to try to get that you know within a few days after surgery and try to maintain that for the entire first few months to prevent some of this hair loss. One thing I strongly just discourage my patients to do is to blindly supplement zinc. The problem with taking a lot of zinc is that it may inhibit iron absorption.
You may be trying to improve your hair loss by by giving yourself a big doses is thinking it helps. But more likely that that iron deficiency is the issue and you may actually trigger or worse than an iron deficiency by taking large doses of zinc. zinc is a supplement that we use only when we document a defficiency. In summary, hair loss after weight loss surgery is almost always temporary i would say at least nine percent of patients will regrow back most of the hair that they’ve lost, which are usually caused by nutritional deficiencies.
Weight loss is an expected, natural part of the surgery, and while it’s an unfortunate part of the surgery, it is an acceptable short-term side effect. Increasing biotin intake as well as aggressive protein supplementation plan the first three months should help to curb these issues.