BARIATRIC SURGERY AND HAIR LOSS
According to the statements of the World Health Organization (WHO), 13% of the adult population in the world was obese and 39% was overweight in 2016. While this rate has tripled since 1975, the demand for sleeve gastrectomy, which is developed against obesity and considered as one of the most effective treatment methods, is increasing every year. As a result of these operations, the stomach volume is permanently reduced, food intake decreases and it is easier for patients to lose weight.
"An average of 196,000 people undergo obesity surgery every year."
One of the problems that may occur after the operation and that worries patients the most is hair loss. Although the primary purpose of the patients is to get rid of health problems caused by excess weight, they also want to feel more comfortable and safer in terms of aesthetics, and hair loss can be annoying at this stage. According to a study conducted on a group of female patients who underwent sleeve gastrectomy, 41% of the patients reported that they encountered hair loss problems after the operation.1
HAIR LOSS AFTER GASTRIC SLEEVE SURGERY
WHAT CAUSES IT?
While 90% of a healthy person's hair is in the growth phase (anagen), 10% has completed the growth phase and is in the shedding phase (telogen). For this reason, hair loss between 100-150 a day is considered normal, while excess hair loss is considered as hair loss. Hair loss after the operation can have many reasons. For example, with the change of diet, the person may experience vitamins and minerals deficiencies: in the studies, it was found that 7.7% of the patients who had hair loss problems after the operation had low zinc levels and 10.2% had low iron levels.1 However, although they adhered to a nutrition program planned by a healthcare professional, it has been observed that patients with this problem were also encountered. This is a very natural reaction while trying to adapt to the change, even if all the vitamins, minerals and proteins the body needs are met.
Hair loss of patients usually starts 2 months after the operation and continues for about 3 months. It has been observed that the hair of the patients who encountered this problem recovered in 9 months and regained its normal cycle.2 Although the hair loss experienced is temporary, it should be followed up. After the operation, adequate vitamin and mineral supplements should be taken by paying attention to a balanced diet, and in case of hair loss that lasts for more than 1 year, a healthcare professional should be consulted.
- Ruiz-Tovar, J., Oller, I., Llavero, C., Zubiaga, L., Diez, M., Arroyo, A., ... & Calpena, R. (2014). Hair loss in females after sleeve gastrectomy: predictive value of serum zinc and iron levels. The American Surgeon, 80(5), 466-471.
- Zarrouk, A., (2016). Sleeve Gastrectomy Guidelines For 6 Weeks To 3 Months After Surgery