hair loss after surgery

Hair loss after surgery! That is one thing you would never dream should happen to you, right? But sometimes they happen, whether or not you wished for it. But why does it happen, really? And are there ways of stopping them from happening to you?

Well, that is the reason this article was written – to provide you the right information and give you all you need to know about the condition.

7 Causes of Hair Loss After Surgery

Occasionally, hair loss after surgery happens for obvious reasons. Some of the reasons why they happen include:

1. Hair Loss and Stress

Surgery may not directly cause hair loss, but the stress that follows the procedure can. Dr. Larry Nichter explains that:

During stress, our bodies shunt nutrients to our heart, lungs, muscles and other vital organs. As a result, hair may be weakened and in some cases, hair follicles stop producing new hair.”

This condition is termed the Telogen Effluvium. Usually, telogen effluvium occurs two to three months following major stress to the body. Such stress could be major surgery, severe infection, or chronic illness.

Furthermore, sudden change of hormone levels equally contribute to hair loss after surgery, especially in women after giving birth, or stopping the replacement of hormone.

Hairs may start falling out from every part of the scalp, which is usually noticed on your hairbrush, shower/tub, or on your pillow.

However, scalp hair may look thinner, but it is abnormal to see large bald spots. Sadly, every surgery involves stress, so it is critical to reduce it as much as possible.

Some suggestions like making out time in your day to meditate, exercise, and relax (especially walking is a great stress killer), taking part in calming activities equally help.

Therefore, educate yourself about your surgery and its recovery and discuss concerns and fears about it with the doctor, and try to put your focus on the final positive result.

2 Anesthesia

Anesthesia is the medication used during surgery to produce a state of loss of pain so that the patient would not feel any pains while operating. Researchers suggested that anesthesia could make cell divisions to slow down.

When this happens, follicles, which usually depend on active cell division, are automatically made to go into the phase of resting, thereby causing a slowdown in hair growth and resulting in some hair loss.

However, there is the belief that lengthy period of administration of anesthesia is more likely to cause this problem than short usage. This condition is temporary, and things soon return to normal when the situation is normalized.

3. Surgical Procedure

Surgery itself, causes scarring (at the skin or deep level) and change of blood flow, thereby forcing the hair follicles to shut down and reduce production of new hairs.

Apart from the slowdown in hair production, the current hairs may also be forced into the telogen phase (dormant phase) and then gradually fall out.

Apart from the slowdown in hair production, the current hairs may also be forced into the telogen phase (dormant phase) and then gradually fall out.

Hairl Loss After Surgery

4. Medication

Medication allergy has also been suggested to cause hair loss after surgery. The individual could develop an allergic reaction to certain drugs used during surgery and then lose hairs as a result. And like the anesthesia, once the medication causing the problem is identified and withdrawn, the issue is put under control and the hair growth returns slowly to normal.

And like the anesthesia, once the medication causing the problem is identified and withdrawn, the issue is put under control and the hair growth returns slowly to normal.

5. Hormonal Changes

When you stay on bed rest for a prolonged period after surgery, the normal hormonal cycle may start to be altered and then result in hair loss. But when you resume limited physical exercises, things can gradually return to normal.

6. Diet and Metabolism

Body metabolism increases during the period of healing. As a result, there is an increase in the need for nutrients to be supplied to the various parts of the body. But because there is a limited supply of nutrients like protein, biotin, zinc, iron and the rest, the limited supply is moved to the vital organs of the body, leaving out the hairs since they are not considered important. This eventually manifest with hair loss.

7. Other Contributing Factors

Other factors such as scratching, infection (bacterial, fungal or viral), or excessive pressure can also result in hair loss after surgery (Positional Alopecia). Every surgery represents a high risk of infection. Once identified, it must be treated quickly as can cause sudden hair loss.

Positional Alopecia is uncommon but can surface when the head is positioned in one place for a very long time interval. This restricts blood supply to the skin and hair follicles.

Good enough, when you’re asleep, you move your head at intervals naturally. However, this does not happen with surgeries that do not require head movement. Ideally, this would apply to very long surgeries lasting for over 6 hours.

Conclusion

Surgery does not directly cause hair loss but the physical and emotional stresses contribute to cause the problem.

To reduce the possibility of hair loss, everything needs to be done to minimize the level of stress one is exposed to in the cause of surgical procedure. The lesser the stress the lesser the chances of developing hair loss after surgery.

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