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.
Table of Contents
6 Major Causes of Hair Loss After Surgery
Occasionally, hair loss after surgery happens for obvious reasons. Some of the reasons why they happen are listed below:
Surgery may not directly cause hair loss, but the stress that follows the procedure can. Dr. Larry Nichter explains that when there is stress, our body pushes nutrients to the vital organs of the body like the lungs, heart, muscles, kidneys, liver, etc. When this happens, the hairs are not given priority.
This makes them become weak, and in some cases, the follicles cannot produce new hairs. This condition is termed the Telogen Effluvium. Usually, telogen effluvium occurs two to three months following major stress to the body. Such stresses could be major surgery, serious infection, or chronic illness.
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 the surgery is performed. Suggestions from limited researches are that anesthesia could make cell divisions to slow down.
When this happens, follicles, which usually depend on fast 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 level or deep) 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.
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 And like the anesthesia, once the medication causing the problem is identified and withdrawn, the issue is put under control and the hair growth returns slowly to normal.
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.
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.