Hair Loss After Gastric Sleeve Surgery: Why Does This Happen?

April 20, 2015 — by Fernando Garcia
Tags: Gastric Sleeve Side Effects Hair Loss

A man sitting outdoorsThe team at Tijuana Bariatrics believes that patients can experience many benefits from undergoing gastric sleeve surgery (sleeve gastrectomy). It's a highly effective surgical weight loss option that has helped people become trimmer, slimmer, and healthier.

It's important that we let patients know about all side effects of surgery so they know what to expect from treatment. With that in mind, let's go over one of the more common yet unexpected side effects of gastric sleeve: hair loss.

Is hair loss common after bariatric surgery?

Yes.

Up to 40% of bariatric surgery patients suffer from hair loss of some kind. This is related to a condition known as telogen effluvium, and it is completely normal should this happen. Most patients experience this hair loss within three to six months after weight loss surgery.

About Telogen Effluvium

Telogen effluvium is a type of weight loss that involves the hair follicles suddenly shifting into the rest phase of the growth cycle. Hair follicles commonly go through a growth and rest cycle, but telogen effluvium means that the cycle is accelerated to the resting phase for more follicles than normal.

Patients will typically notice more pronounced hair loss when they shower, wake up in the morning, or style their hair.

Why Telogen Effluvium Occurs After Bariatric Surgery

Telogen effluvium is commonly associated with stress to the system. This means physical stress and psychological stress. Major surgery, changes in your diet, and periods of emotional difficulty and psychological stress can all cause this to occur.

Given the nature of bariatric surgery and how it involves major lifestyle changes, it should come as no surprise that telogen effluvium-related hair loss can occur following a bariatric procedure.

How much hair do people lose?

This can vary from patient to patient based on a whole host of factors, including current hair density, issues with male pattern balding or female hair thinning, environmental matters, and so on. Some patients will notice more significant amount of thinning and balding than others.

The Hair Will Grow Back in Time

The best thing about hair loss caused by telogen effluvium is that it is only temporary. Typically, hair loss caused by telogen effluvium only lasts for a few months, and the hair follicles will return to a normal growth cycle.

Most times patients will notice hair regrowth once they have adjusted to their new dietary needs and eating habits. Consider the case of telogen effluvium part of your adjustment to a new lifestyle and a new you. The situation will improve, so do not worry.

One of Many Changes of Which to Be Aware

The hair loss is just a temporary change to keep in mind. There are many other changes that you will have to make when it comes to life after bariatric surgery. It can be a challenge, but our team will be here for you with advice and tips for lasting wellness to help you through this period. Like the hair loss you may experience following gastric sleeve, the challenges are temporary and the benefits are immeasurable.

Learn More About Gastric Sleeve at Tijuana Bariatrics

For more information about gastric sleeve surgery and how it can help you lose weight quickly and achieve better health, be sure to contact our weight loss surgery specialists today. The entire team here at Tijuana Bariatrics will be more than happy to answer all of your questions and address your concerns so you can make a wise decision about your health and wellness.