Hair Loss After Surgery- Know the Causes & Treatment

Telogen effluvium or TE is a condition triggered by the disruption of the cycling of your normal hair leading to hair loss after surgery.

You will potentially be losing between 50 to 100 hairs every day. But, there are moments where specific health events, including surgeries and underlying medical conditions, prevent the follicles from not producing hairs the way they should.

The good news is that it can mainly be a temporary issue, although hair loss after surgeries is possible. Speak with your doctor about the possible risk factors and treatment options if you are concerned about hair loss after bariatric surgery.



Causes of hair loss after surgery? 

Causes of hair loss after surgery

Your follicles go through a growth process lasting for a few years in a typical hair cycle. Hair follicles do not produce new hair continuously due to the telogens, which is the cycle through the resting phases.

It is specifically estimated that about 10 to 20 percent of your hair follicles are in the state of telogen at any given time, as noted by the American Hair Loss Association studies.

Telogen effluvium can be indicated if the proportion of telogen hairs is greater than 20 percent, which is one of the common kinds of hair loss.

Surgeries at times can place your hair follicles in a long resting state than normal. As a result, instead of the huge bald spots associated with alopecia areata, you are more likely to check out the progressively thin hair as an outcome of TE.

TE-related hair loss can happen after surgery in the following ways:


Surgeries are considered an invasive process that can place your body and mind is under a lot of stress.

According to the American Skin Association, hair loss after a weight loss surgery is considered a massive stressful event of this kind, which is more likely to happen within 3 to 6 months.

Certain kind of nutrients is required for hair growth, including:

  • biotin
  • iron
  • zinc
  • protein

Surgery can be stressful, leading your body to divert these nutrients away from the important core organs. It, therefore, leads to thinning of hair and TE.


Positional alopecia 

It is the kind of hair loss that occurs on your head being in one position for several hours, as noted from research. It cuts the flow of blood to your hair follicles.

The same research review above showed that hair loss after surgery had been reported most commonly in cardiac surgeries.

A similar research reviews what we have noted above that this is the kind of hair loss reported mainly during cardiac surgeries.

After extensive reconstructive surgeries, positional alopecia is also possible due to the tenure spent laying in the same position.



According to a few renowned plastic surgeons, it is suspected that there can be a connection between hair loss and anesthesia, specifically in surgeries that last over several hours.

The lengthy periods under anesthesia can surely lead to TE-related hair loss that is caused due to reduced cell division, is what it is thought as. The slow division of cells, in turn, can inhibit the production of hair follicles. However, it is not proven so in clinical studies.

Hair loss can happen with the kind of anesthesia that is used. According to research, it is found that hypotensive anesthesia is mainly used in maxillofacial surgeries, and it thereby increases the risk of positional alopecia.

Even research states that it will not be tolerated by any patients, as hypotensive anesthesia is still being used to aid in the reduced loss of blood during specific operations such as dental surgeries.


Medication side effects 

A few specific medications are taken post-surgery, leading to hair loss, mainly when you are allergic to them. The American Skin Association advises that you should speak to your doctor if you are taking the following drugs that have a connection to TE:

  • anti-seizure medications
  • anti-thyroid medications
  • beta-blockers


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Treatment of Hair loss after surgery 

Treatment of Hair loss after surgery 

It is inevitable when it comes to hair loss after surgery, as it can happen due to stress and other ruling factors. The best thing is that we can get them back after the application of the following routine remedies and products:

(Before taking any medicine Just consult with a Trichologist/Doctor)

Minoxidil and finasteride 

Minoxidil is a medicine that should be applied to your scalp twice a day, and it promotes hair growth at a rapid rate.

Minoxidil and Finasteride have long been the most commonly recommended drugs for hair loss for various reasons. Learn the distinctions between Finasteride and Minoxidil.

Before attempting to utilize either, you should speak with your doctor. Both have been known to cause severe side effects and evaluated accordingly. There are, however, safer natural and pharmaceutical substitutes to Minoxidil that you should consider.

WarningFinasteride should never be taken by a woman or Child



The technique used for enhancing the growth of hair after the surgery is the micro-needling technique, and it operates on the principle of vascularization, thereby promoting hair growth.


Laser therapy

Laser therapy for increasing hair growth has gained a lot of fame over time. It is noted as the best choice for a dermatologist for regrowing hair after surgery.


Corticosteroid injection 

A few dermatologists use corticosteroid injections for pacing up the growth of hair. The technique is extremely painful and is mainly avoided.


Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy

A few clinics use the platelet-rich plasma process to pump hair growth after surgery as a baldness treatment.


Natural remedies for hair loss after surgery 

Natural remedies for hair loss after surgery

By following a few home remedies you can reduce your hair loss after surgery

Get Enough Sleep 

It takes time to heal from the surgical procedure, and the body repairs heal and recovers while you are asleep. Therefore, make sure you sleep well to speed up the recovery process. Not getting sufficient sleep will lead to unwanted stress and worsen hair loss.


Avoid stress

Try keeping your stress away. Indulge in activities that help you relax while practicing self-care techniques, including meditation and yoga. It will make sure that you have a speedy recovery. Your hair will start to grow normally once you adjust after the surgery.


Follow A Healthy Diet

Proteins make up most of your hair structure, so eat a protein-rich diet. Eggs, lean meat, shellfish, green vegetables, and lentils are good sources of vital amino acids for hair growth. Ensure you’re getting enough zinc, iron, and vitamins in your diet. Whole grains, fruits, nuts, and seeds are excellent choices (6).


Avoid Putting Pressure On Your Scalp

Tight hairstyles can promote hair loss by putting stress on the hair follicles. Hairstyles like tight braids and ponytails should be avoided, especially by women.



Type of Surgery 

It is vital to consider the area where the surgery is performed. You can be at a greater risk of hair follicles that can shut down if your incisions are made on the scalp, while all surgeries have the right kind of potential for causing TE and hair loss.

Some studies note that head and neck surgeries, along with hypotensive anesthesia, are connected to the greater risk of positional alopecia that would lead to hair loss.


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Types of surgeries that cause hair loss 

What is the kind of surgery that causes hair loss? As it is a common query among people.

Almost all kinds of important surgeries can lead to hair loss in patients.

The best thing about it since it is temporary. We can get the hair back in the next few months. There is also an exception in the surgeries that involve hair follicles, and the damaged hair follicles will not be growing again using any non-surgical means. Hair loss is prevented with the help of hair transplants and similar kind of treatments.


Can stress lead to hair loss after surgery? 

Surgery can lead to an increase of stress hormones in the body, being an invasive procedure.

It results in the greater consumption of nutrients required in the wound healing process. The techniques, therefore, lead to the supply of minerals and vitamins to the hair resulting in hair fall.

The stress hormones will directly affect the cycle of the telogen of the hair. As an outcome, it leads to compromised hair thinning and hair growth.


Does medication affect hair loss after surgery? 

Surgery will involve various medications that start from anesthesia and antibiotics to relaxants for post-surgery.

The US dermatologists carried out research in which they found that anesthesia medications directly affect the cycle of telogen.

They found that epilepsy medications, thyroid medications, and epilepsy medications, apart from anesthesia medications, have a great role in induced hair loss after surgery.


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Post-surgery hormones and hair loss 

The increased stress would lead to a rush of hormones resulting in hair loss. Testosterone and corticosteroid levels get to their highest peak two to three hours after surgery.

It is the primary cause of hair loss after surgery. Hair starts to grow again in a couple of months after the hormones return to their baseline levels.


Preventing hair loss after surgery 

The following are the routine that one should be adapting to as hair loss after surgery can be prevented naturally:

  • Make sure to exercise about half an hour regularly
  • Consume foods that are rich in proteins, minerals, and important vitamins
  • Do not take much stress
  • Drink ample water
  • Follow a good sleep routine and try waking up early in the morning
  • Hair products should have biotin in them


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Frequently Asked Questions 

Below we share some FAQs related to the query “Hair Loss After Surgery”

1. Is it true that surgery causes hair loss?

The good news is that while hair loss is possible following surgery, it is usually just temporary. If you’re worried about hair loss after your surgery, talk to your doctor about the risks and treatments available.


2. What effect does general anesthesia have on hair?

General anesthesia is one of the more unusual causes of abrupt hair loss. The condition telogen effluvium refers to hair loss that occurs suddenly and excessively, including hair loss caused by general anesthesia.


3. Is there a way to stop hair loss with surgery?

Hair transplantation is a sort of surgery that has evolved over the years to provide permanent outcomes for people who have lost their hair. The approach focuses on removing good hair follicles from one place of the body and transferring them to another.


4. Does hair that has been lost due to shock regrow?

Almost all cases of shock hair loss are transient and will ultimately begin to regrow. The majority of patients note that regrowth takes a long time. This hair may appear spotty at first, and returning to normal and gaining length may take 12-18 months.


5. Is it possible to get more hair through surgery?

The parts of your head that are experiencing balding or thinning are where hair transplants are used. It involves grafting hair from thicker sections of the scalp or other regions of the body to the thinning region of the scalp.


6. Can my thin hair grow back thick?

Hair follicles are responsible for forming new hair in any case. Normal hair growth and thickness are restored. It is possible to get thick and fuller hair, but it depends entirely on the hair follicles and genetics, as everything differs in every individual.


7. Will’s hair regrow after scalp surgery?

Thankfully, shock hair loss is nearly usually transitory, and hair ultimately regrows, though it can take a while.


8. What kind of treatment would a dermatologist recommend for hair loss?

Your dermatologist will prescribe hair loss medication. Hair growth and thickness can increase with topical Minoxidil, called Rogaine.


9. What kind of hair loss doctor do you go to?

It is best to schedule an appointment with your dermatologist. They are the professionals to determine the reason for hair loss and get it treated. They can also determine whether it causes hair loss or not. There are other factors that lead to hair loss that is similar to FPHL.


10. What is the best way to reactivate dormant hair follicles?

Minoxidil is the best drug responsible for reactivating the dormant hair follicles. When applied to the scalp daily, Minoxidil can help regrow hair that has stopped growing. The only catch is that you’ll have to constantly take it indefinitely once you start.


Concluding thoughts 

Hair loss after surgery is the most common issue triggered by stress imposed on our bodies. The body can adapt and recover, and your hair loss will stall completely. You can also try to reduce your stress by a healthy diet and getting sufficient sleep. Always consult a dermatologist or a doctor if the issue persists.


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