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Elaine
Posted on Saturday, July 28, 2001 - 01:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Several months ago I had a serious operation that required general anesthesia. My long hair which was thick is now falling out in handfuls. I wonder if this shedding is due to the operation, the anesthesia, or a combination of both. It would be neat if it grew back in again or just simply stopped shedding. Any ideas, any encouragement?
 

brookeanne
Posted on Monday, July 30, 2001 - 03:52 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I don't have an answer, but I'm having a similar problem - I'm only twenty (and female) and my already thin, fine hair has dropped to about two thirds of what it was sixth months ago. I'm pretty sure it was because of the drug Larium, used to prevent malaria, which I took on a trip for 5 months. I'm off it now, but haven't noticed any hair growth, and an still losing hair (but not nearly as much as before). I'm vegetarian, too, so I wonder if I don't have enough iron to grow my hair back. I'm taking hair vitamins (with lots of Biotin), iron, Vit-C, and zinc. I'm scared I'll be entirely bald for my wedding in June.
 

Tom Hagerty (Admin)
Posted on Monday, July 30, 2001 - 08:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Brookeanne:

I have a friend who was given Larium when he took a trip to Southeast Asia. There's a whole salad of side effects associated with the drug as I'm sure you know by now. "It's one of the most dangerous in regard to side effects," - that from a medical journal. But you want to know about your hair.

If you have telogen effluvium (the shedding of hair from follicles in the resting stage of the hair cycle) the trigger was probably Larium. The half life of Larium, by the way, is three weeks - which is a nice way of saying there will always be some minute residue in your body. Usually it takes three to four months between the trigger and the telogen shedding. It's not like the shedding (anagen effluvium) that takes place after chemotherapy, which is almost instant. A very high percentage of people with telogen effluvium get their hair back but it could be many months. I hope you're patient. With a wedding coming up you're probably not.
 

Tom Hagerty (Admin)
Posted on Sunday, August 05, 2001 - 03:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Elaine:

I talked to an anesthesiologist yesterday. She asked me what kind of surgery you had, how long it lasted, and what kind of anesthesia was administered. Since you didn't give any of these specifics, I can give only a general answer to your question.

Any kind of serious surgery puts great stress on the body. The blood with all its nutrients is diverted to the essential organs during surgery thus depriving the less important areas like the skin and its hair follicles from the amino acids, the vitamins, and the minerals they need. At the base of the follicles in the hair matrix, cells are dividing rapidly to produce the hair shaft. If these cells are deprived of the nutrients they need even for several hours during surgery, this could trigger telogen effluvium or the progressive hair loss you've been experiencing for the last three months.

The general anesthesia you had could also have triggered telogen effluvium. Even though the anesthesia was administered for only several hours (you didn't say how long) this may have been enough to shut down hair cell production and send the follicles into their resting (telogen) stage.

The anesthesiologist told me that occasionally during prolonged surgery the head of the patient is in the same position for many hours. The pressure of the head on the operating table may cut off circulation to the skin where the head and table meet. This can cause a localized alopecia. She said that the practice these days is to move the patient's head every so often so that this does not occur.

You wanted some encouragement. Telogen effluvium is almost always temporary. It will take some months though for your hair to grow back. I hope you don't have any more serious operations planned.
 

Elaine
Posted on Monday, August 06, 2001 - 03:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Thank you. I appreciate the time you must have taken to give me a full explanation of what I wanted to know. Just the explanation in itself gave me encouragement.
 

Marj
Posted on Saturday, September 08, 2001 - 01:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

That post about Larium taken to protect against malaria was a shocker. I'm leaving for India on Friday and was given something to protect me from malaria. I don't know what that something was but I'm certainly going to find out about it on Monday. I don't know why I don't ask more questions when I'm in the presence of doctors.
 

Kim
Posted on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 07:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Hi Elaine-
I am a 22 yr. old female that has also experienced extreme hairloss (all-over thinning) since surgery with gen. anesthesia 5 months ago. I have lost more then half my hair. I was wondering if your hair has improved since your last message and if you have found any treatments/solutions. I would also like to hear from others that have experienced female hairloss at such a young age and how you dealt with it...as you can imagine this has become an all consuming thought/problem.
 

Tom Hagerty (Admin)
Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - 03:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Kim:

Go to www.keratin.com. This is an excellent Web site hosted by Kevin McElwee. On the Site Directory (Home Page) click Effluviums. Now click Effluviums - Post surgery effects. I think you'll find some solid information here. You may also want to read more articles on this site. Kevin's long article on Hair Biology can really help you when you're considering your own hair loss and what to do about it.
 

cmd
Posted on Sunday, September 30, 2001 - 09:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I would like to know if it is possible to loss hair due to taking a diuretic - Lasix. I am really getting panicked. I am losing a major amount of hair for the past three months. I am on lasix for medical reasons. If anyone knows the answer to this please let me know. Thanks - a frightened femal.
 

Tom Hagerty (Admin)
Posted on Monday, October 01, 2001 - 11:06 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

CMD:

Lasix, used mainly for high blood pressure, certainly has side effects but hair loss is not one of them. Perhaps, if you do have high blood pressure, you tried to lose weight too fast. The loss of weight (two pounds or more a week) can trigger telogen effluvium in several months. But of course this is just speculation. There are many things that can trigger hair loss. A good dermatologist might be your best bet for a specific answer to your problem.
 

Torrie
Posted on Friday, June 07, 2002 - 01:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Hi Tom.

I had 5 general anesthetic operations from 1997-2000. I lost about 60% of my hair and only very little has come back. In the last year I have been on iron to build up a ferritin of 12. Now it is 60. My hair started and stopped falling with each surgery. The dates are June 97, Nov 98 Dec,98, May 99, Jan 2000. My hair last was falling from telogen in Sept 200. I have grown about 10% back that is all.My doctor said it might take a couple of years but I don't believe him. I think the surgery has killed my hair for good. My loss is all over the scalp so aga was ruled out. Have you ever heard of patients taking years for their hair to grow back?I had dense hair before surgeries now it's limp and I can see a little scalp in front in my bangs area and all over the scalp. I am now 36.Thank you for your help.
 

Tom Hagerty (Admin)
Posted on Friday, June 07, 2002 - 02:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Torrie:

You have undergone five operations that required general anesthesia in three years. This was of course a serious stress to you body. Prolonged physical stress can certainly shut down the hair follicles and cause telogen effluvium. Your last operation was in January 2000 a year and a half ago. It is very possible that your hair follicles are still dormant and not dead. If you had hair loss that lasted five to ten years, then there would be a high probability that the follicles are dead. I'm sure you know that dead follicles cannot be resurrected.

Bringing your serum ferritin level up was important because people with TE recover much sooner with normal, or even a little above normal, levels. You're 36 years old. At least you have young cells working in your favor. If you're healthy now with no more surgeries ahead, I wouldn't be too pesimistic about regainig your hair or at least enough so that the thinning is not noticeable.

Your main question was: Have I ever heard of people taking years to grow their hair back? The answer is yes. But if you go five or seven years without new growth, the successful outcome is less likely.
 

tyler
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 03:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

i am a 17 year old girl. i had my wisdom teeth removed five months ago and my hair has been thinning dramatically ever since due to the anesthesia i was given. it is growing back only a little in the front. its such a consuming fear that im going to go bald. i havent been able to live normally since the surgery. i am miserable. its my senior year. i dont expect anyone to have answers. i just wanted to tell you that theres someone else out there with the same problem, and i know how it feels.
 

Tom Hagerty
Posted on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 06:50 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Tyler:

Here is a message I posted many months ago in response to an other woman who had general anesthesia. It may give you some useful information:

I talked to an anesthesiologist yesterday. She asked me what kind of surgery you had, how long it lasted, and what kind of anesthesia was administered. Since you didn't give any of these specifics, I can give only a general answer to your question.

Any kind of serious surgery puts great stress on the body. The blood with all its nutrients is diverted to the essential organs during surgery thus depriving the less important areas like the skin and its hair follicles from the amino acids, the vitamins, and the minerals they need. At the base of the follicles in the hair matrix, cells are dividing rapidly to produce the hair shaft. If these cells are deprived of the nutrients they need even for several hours during surgery, this could trigger telogen effluvium or the progressive hair loss you've been experiencing for the last three months.

The general anesthesia you had could also have triggered telogen effluvium. Even though the anesthesia was administered for only several hours (you didn't say how long) this may have been enough to shut down hair cell production and send the follicles into their resting (telogen) stage.

The anesthesiologist told me that occasionally during prolonged surgery the head of the patient is in the same position for many hours. The pressure of the head on the operating table may cut off circulation to the skin where the head and table meet. This can cause a localized alopecia. She said that the practice these days is to move the patient's head every so often so that this does not occur."

You wanted some encouragement. Telogen effluvium is almost always temporary. It will take some months though for your hair to grow back. I hope you don't have any more serious operations planned.
 

Anonymous
Posted on Sunday, May 02, 2004 - 10:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Hi,

I am 21 years old and had recently undergone surgery for a deviated septum. The surgery was almost six months ago now, and anesthesia was administered to me. My hair has been falling out by the day and was wondering how long it might last for? Also, will the hairs that fell out regrow? I have never had any problems with hair fall out before this past operation. I exercise daily,watch what I eat and take vitamins. Is this normal for hair to fall out this long after surgery? Hopefully you might have an answer.

Thank You,

Mike
 

Tom Hagerty
Posted on Monday, May 03, 2004 - 07:53 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Mike:

The surgery for a diviated septum is not considered major. You were probably under anesthesia for less than an hour. It's hard to believe that this could cause the hair loss that you're experiencing. But still it's possible. If the trigger for your hair loss really was the anesthetic, your hair loss, probably telogen effluvium, should resolve itself within a year or less. If it does not, then you might have another problem. It's hard to differentiate between telogen effluvium and male pattern baldness in the early stages of these forms of hair loss.
 

Anonymous
Posted on Sunday, May 09, 2004 - 07:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Hi,

Thank You for responding so promptly to my question, although when thinking about it I had left out some valuable information. The surgery I had for the deviated septum I was told lasted 2 to 3 hours. Two weeks later I had problems with hemorrhaging for 15 hours until I could get until the doctors office the next day. Also that was my third surgery in 4 years. I am supposed to get my wisdom teeth pulled sometime in the near future. Would you advise me to hold off? If not is there a better way for the dentist to admister a numbing to ease the pain, rather then to use anesthesia?

Thank You again,

Mike
 

Tom Hagerty
Posted on Monday, May 10, 2004 - 09:56 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Mike:

My opinion is that the anesthetic admisistered during your surgeries is a low percentage probability for triggering hair loss.

"Two weeks later I had problems with hemorrhaging for 15 hours until I could get until the doctors office the next day."

After you lost a lot of blood, did you eat iron-rich foods to build up your serum ferritin level. A depletion of iron is sometimes associated with hair loss. If you're a vegetarian it's possible that you did not get your serum ferritin level up again.
 

Anonymous
Posted on Thursday, May 13, 2004 - 09:03 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

The surgery, the anesthesia and the blood loss can cause TE.

If you can hold off on the wisdom teeth until you body has corrected itself and healed, I would.
 

Anonymous
Posted on Sunday, October 03, 2004 - 05:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Someone please let me know what you think. I had a two-three hour operation with general anestesia in March. In June my hair seemed to be falling a bit more...now it's October. For the last two months it has fallen about 200 a day (I count it) and now..when I was hoping it would stop, it's going up...to like 300 a day. I'm so scared. My ferritin is about 55 (I'm still working on it) and every other test is perfect...low testosterone, hormones great, dhea very low, thyroid perfect (I look at the tests myself) Could this just be from the surgery. I can see hair regrowth if I part my hair real hard, but it's not near as much as I'm losing a day. It's falling all over...but mostly at my bangs, the sides ....all over. Please give me your thoughts and advice!
 

Jenifer
Posted on Tuesday, October 05, 2004 - 12:03 am:   Edit Post Delete Post



If you read through the messages in this thread, you will see that surgery puts serious stress on the body, and that telogen effluvium is often the
result. Just rest and relax and take good care of
yourself and trust that this will be resolved in time.
 

Anonymous
Posted on Monday, June 27, 2005 - 01:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I DONT KNOW WHATS HAPPENING TO ME OR WHERE IT STARTER. I BECAME PREGNAT AT THE AGE OF 20. DURING PREGNANCY I STARTED TO LOSE MY HAIR AND BREAKOUT ON MY FACE, AND FOR 3 YEARS IT NEVER STOPPED. I CONSULTED A DERMA AND THEY TOLD ME THAT IT WAS NORMAL DUE TO HORMONES AND PREGNANCY, I TOOK AN EPIDURAL DURING DELIVERY OF MY BABY AND MY HAIR STILL FALLS AND ACNE WAS STILL THERE, I ALSO HAD BREAST IMPLANTS 2 YEARS LATER AND I WAS UNDER GENERAL ANESTHESIA, I HEARD THAT BREAST IMPLANTS CAN CAUSE YOUR HAIR TO FALL IS THAT TRUE? TO MAKE IT WORSE, I TRIED A DIFFERENT DOC. BECAUSE THE PREVIUS DID NOT FIND A FUNGUS ON MY SCALP AND ASSUMED I WAS FINE, SO THE NEW DOC. PUT ME ON ACCUTANE. NOW ACNE IS GONE BUT HAIR IS FALLNG BAD. WHERE EXACLY DID MY PROBLEM START? EPIDURAL?GENERAL ANESTHESIA?HORMONES?IMPLANTS?ACCUTANE?

NOW IM 23 YEARS OLD AND DONT KNOW HOW MUCH LONGER WILL THIS GO ON, MY HAIR DOES GROW BUT I WANT IT TO STOP FALLING AND KEEP WHAT I GROW. ANY SUGGESTIONS.

MY DOC. DID NOT TELL ME THAT I WOULD LOOSE SO MUCH HAIR DUE TO ACCUTANE AND NOW IM RESEARCHING AND FINDING OUT WHAT ELSE WILL HAPPEN TO ME AS A RESULT. IS THIS ALL GOINT TO BE PERMANET? I WISH I HAD KNOWN THIS AND I WOULD HAVE NEVER TAKEN ACCUTANE,

THANKS
 

jackie Eversley
Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2005 - 10:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I have chronic heart disease. I have an artificial aortic valve, pacemaker, and defibrillator. Recently, there was a recall on my pacemaker/defib. After the replacement, I went into A-Fib. I then had a heart alation. I am still in A-Fib with few symptoms. I take coumadin, lasix as needed, and tikosyn. I am losing a lot of hair. I have always had good, thick hair. I am 62 years old. Could the hair loss be due to the procedures, drugs, or age?
 

Rhonda
Posted on Sunday, May 14, 2006 - 04:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I had a two-three hour surgery 3 weeks ago for ACL reconstruction. I have a large (3" diameter" bald spot on the back of my head. My hair is falling out fast everywhere else. Any suggestions on what to take to promote regrowth? I am 27 years old and extremely scared about losing my hair!
 

Annie
New member
Username: Sumo

Post Number: 1
Registered: 09-2007
Posted on Wednesday, October 03, 2007 - 12:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I have a little curly hair and its getting thin day by day. The hairs on the top of my head have become scanty that one can basically see the scalp. I do not have thyroid, am not anaemic. I have no other physical problem or allergies. I am a coffee addict, I am not sure whether its due to that and am currently on anti-depressants Lamictal and Lexapro in a mild dose for almost 3 years. Me and my husband are really worried on this present situation. And its becoming worse since after my college. I am 30 now and we do not have kids. I have tried all sorts of medications and oil including homeopathy but nothing seems to have worked. Was taking vitamin supplements but have stopped them a while back as I am too frustrated. I do not take a lot amount of tensions or stress but get anxious easily. Any suggestion, comments, recommendations are truly welcome. Please help!
 

Tom Hagerty
Moderator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 3409
Registered: 01-2003
Posted on Thursday, October 04, 2007 - 01:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Annie:

"I do not have thyroid, am not anaemic. I have no other physical problem or allergies. I am a coffee addict, I am not sure whether its due to that and am currently on anti-depressants Lamictal and Lexapro in a mild dose for almost 3 years."

Just a few comments on what you wrote:

• Even though you don't have anemia you still might have a low serum ferritin level. If you have a low serum ferritin level, even low normal, it is hard to regain your hair. A high intake of coffee can interfere with iron absorption. Premenopausal women with poor iron absorption often have serum ferritin levels much below 70 nanogams per milliliter.

• People who have taken antidepressants for a long period of time often complain of thinning hair. Even though it may say on the patient insert that hair loss is a relatively rare side effect, I've seen too many reports of hair loss as a maljor side effect to believe this. Go to Google and type "antidepressants, hair loss" into the search box. You'll be surprised at what you find.
 

Annie
New member
Username: Sumo

Post Number: 3
Registered: 09-2007
Posted on Friday, October 05, 2007 - 08:26 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Thank you Tom for the reply. I will check on my serum ferritin levels.
 

Annie
New member
Username: Sumo

Post Number: 4
Registered: 09-2007
Posted on Friday, October 05, 2007 - 08:33 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Another quick question Tom, I am on anti-depressants just for the last couple of years. would that affect my hair fall to a great extent as my hair has started thinning slowly since my college days thats about 10 years back. And also, I never used to be a coffee addict before. Its just been a year or so. Please advise any alternate solution and also if there is any trichologist or a good doctor in Boston who treats hair loss. I do need it desperately. Thank you again.
 

Tom Hagerty
Moderator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 3413
Registered: 01-2003
Posted on Friday, October 05, 2007 - 09:47 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Annie:

You'll have to do your own research on the potential side effects of long-term antidepressant use. It's too bad that you have to rely on this type of medication to get you through life's problems.

"Please advise any alternate solution..."

My alternate solution if I had a hair loss problem extending back ten years would be an excellent diet with the elimination of antidepressants and coffee. For my ideas on an excellent diet read - The Anti-inflammatory Diet.

Trichologists flourish in the United Kindom. Most of them are not medically qualified. If you find one in the Boston area, it might be a good idea to talk to some of the patients of the clinic. I've seen very few positive testimonials from people who have been patients of trichologists.

If I were looking for a dermatologist, I would find one associated with a major university clinic. You do not want to visit a dermatologist who will talk to you for ten minutes and then give you a quick suggestion to get Rogaine for Women.
 

Annie
New member
Username: Sumo

Post Number: 5
Registered: 09-2007
Posted on Friday, October 05, 2007 - 05:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Thank you Tom. Will give a try to the anti-inflammatory products you have listed, though I do use a couple of them now.I will keep you psoted.
 

Annie
New member
Username: Sumo

Post Number: 6
Registered: 09-2007
Posted on Saturday, October 06, 2007 - 07:11 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Hi Tom, any suggestion on hair products to use, shampoo and oil which will not accelerate hair loss. i am using brahmi oil at present and just plain dove shampoo.any advice on day to day hair cleaning would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

Annie
New member
Username: Sumo

Post Number: 7
Registered: 09-2007
Posted on Saturday, October 06, 2007 - 07:14 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Tom, apart from the antiiflammatory products you have listed, are there any other vitamins or protein pills i should be taking. i take multivitamins for women. Thank you.
 

Tom Hagerty
Moderator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 3415
Registered: 01-2003
Posted on Saturday, October 06, 2007 - 09:14 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Annie:

I prefer that people not focus on the "products" I listed in the anti-inflammatory diet. It's the good food that makes and keeps you healthy. If you have a diet of processed foods, all the supplements in the world can't help you much. By the way, brewer's yeast powder and flax seed powder are real foods.

I'm using Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo now. It's a clarifying shampoo, which means it's a simple shampoo with no other ingredients but detergent cleansing agents. With clarifying shampoos there is no risk of buildup on the hair shaft.

When you're at the public library pick up Paula Begoun's Don't Go Shopping for Hair-Care Products Without Me. You'll get many good ideas about hair from this woman who is honest, intelligent, and articulate.
 

Annie
New member
Username: Sumo

Post Number: 8
Registered: 09-2007
Posted on Monday, October 08, 2007 - 09:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Thanks Tom.

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