Live Spring Style
127 Members and 18515 Guests Online

Beauty Banter

Hair falling out from anesthesia after surgery. Need some help please.

Started 1392529429.22 in Beauty Banter | Last reply 1393123899.79 by SouthrnGirl

Hello ladies... It has been awhile since I've been on the board.

I was scheduled for a routine partial hysterectomy in October. The kind where they don't cut you, they go in from you know where (didn't know if I could use "that" word on here, trying to be respectful).

Anyway, it went wrong. All wrong. During recovery my blood pressure bottomed out and they had to go back in, open me up and find out what was wrong. The doctor had cut an artery and it retracted and he couldn't find it to repair it. I was losing a lot of blood. It took six doctors from three different facilities, two states and three surgeries within 48 hours to put me all back together. And I had 23 units of blood products. I almost died, literally.

Because they couldn't find the artery they had to keep me under way longer than anticipated while they waited for one of the other doctors to come in from another state. I'm on the Mississippi coast and he was at Tulane in Louisiana.

I was told by my team of surgeons that since I was under anesthesia for so long, and my body being under so much stress, that losing hair might be a side effect. And that has proven to be true. I literally lost half my hair. When I shampoo and condition, I can run my hand through my hair to distribute the conditioner and clumps of hair come out. I was shopping one day, scratched the back of my head and a clump came out. I broke down and had to leave.

I've had blood work done to rule out any other illness or condition that might be going on. All tests came back normal, twice, so I believe it is from the stress of the surgeries and anesthesia.

My hair started falling out early in December and just now started to slow down, mid February. Soooo, all that to ask/say this: I'm afraid to do anything to my hair. I don't dye it or use a lot of heat on it. And now I'm letting it air dry. Not sure that even helps but I'm super cautious right now. I'm looking for suggestions for good, healthy for you shampoos and conditioners, and ANYTHING that might help my hair grow back faster.

My hair has always been fine, but I've always had a lot of it. LOTS. Now it is so thin and I'm sad. I feel like people stare. I'm only 39. I want my hair to grow back. It was such an ordeal being in ICU for 8 days and all the needles and tests and I'm traumatized beyond belief. I don't think I can ever explain fully how bad it was. I'm thankful the hospital wrote off the $400K bill, but that won't bring my hair back faster, or take away the PTSD that I have, or help the fear of hospitals, doctors and needles that has developed.

I need really good responses with some suggestions please. I've had people tell me "just be glad you lived and still have some hair". I really don't need to hear that. I know that. I'm looking for help. And so sorry for the long post.

Page 1 of 3
1 2 3 Next
Smidget1392530242.8571665 PostsRegistered 2/17/2007Frozen Tundra

I'm sorry you had to go through all that. I've had surgery go wrong and it's devastating. There is just no way to be prepared for all that you have to go through to get healthy and strong again. My hair thinned, too.

The bad news is, there is nothing that can be done to get "your" hair back faster. It should grow back. Please ask your doctor to test your ferritin level ~ you lost a lot of blood, so it could be low. This will contribute to the hair loss. Other than that, unfortunately, you have to wait. You might want to consult a stylist to see if a different hair cut would make your hair look fuller in the meantime.

I'm glad the hospital took care of the bill for you. Mine did not, though the surgeon was at fault for the problem (and fully admitted as such). They called it a "known risk" and billed me in full.

I miss recess!

BlingQueen­0221392530343.5235907 PostsRegistered 9/23/2012
I'm so sorry to hear what happened to you. Thank goodness, you're here to talk about it. I do have to say, I would never, ever post personal experiences on this board. Not with this crowd, no way. Continue to recover. What a horrible experience you been through. And, what a lucky woman you are. God was with you, that's for sure.

ibb381392530418.10713064 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

Andrew Lessman over at hsn has a hair and skin product that's supposed to be excellent. A close female relative also used rogaine for women when her hair was thinning- and it's helped a lot.

Feeling good on the outside is very important as part of your healing process- pay no attention to the naysayers! I've been exactly where you are- a routine surgery (partial hysterectomy as well) gone very wrong.

Last edited on 2/16/2014

SouthrnGirl1392530504.957436 PostsRegistered 11/6/2006
On 2/15/2014 Smidget said:

I'm sorry you had to go through all that. I've had surgery go wrong and it's devastating. There is just no way to be prepared for all that you have to go through to get healthy and strong again. My hair thinned, too.

The bad news is, there is nothing that can be done to get "your" hair back faster. It should grow back. Please ask your doctor to test your ferritin level ~ you lost a lot of blood, so it could be low. This will contribute to the hair loss. Other than that, unfortunately, you have to wait. You might want to consult a stylist to see if a different hair cut would make your hair look fuller in the meantime.

I'm glad the hospital took care of the bill for you. Mine did not, though the surgeon was at fault for the problem (and fully admitted as such). They called it a "known risk" and billed me in full.


I will have my primary doctor check that. I don't know if he did or not, but I'll find out. I've been afraid to cut my hair. I'm getting married in a few months and wanted full, lovely hair. But maybe a different style would help. Or clip in extensions for the big day! :) Thank you for your kind words.

BellaCarro1392530505.4978645 PostsRegistered 10/1/2011Atlanta
Wow, how horrible! I don't have any recs for your hair re growth but I'm so sorry to hear what happened to you. If it's really bad could you find a nice wig? Have the docs given any indication if and when it will grow back? Have you seen a derm? Are you okay otherwise now? Poor thing!

pamssister1392530881.1679 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004Detroit
I am afraid you just have to be patient. My hair thinned after a major surgery and took about 6-8 months before it stopped falling out. At about 12 months, I noticed hair was back to normal.

SouthrnGirl1392530943.37436 PostsRegistered 11/6/2006
On 2/16/2014 BellaCarro said: Wow, how horrible! I don't have any recs for your hair re growth but I'm so sorry to hear what happened to you. If it's really bad could you find a nice wig? Have the docs given any indication if and when it will grow back? Have you seen a derm? Are you okay otherwise now? Poor thing!

They told me what I already suspected they would say, that hair grows about half an inch a month and it would just take time. I haven't seen a dermatologist. Maybe I should. My hair is just below my shoulders, so it will take a long time for the fullness to come back. So maybe a cut would be good. I am healthy otherwise.

shoekitty1392530999.25714514 PostsRegistered 8/10/2006

I always loose lots of hair from surgery. The anesthesia and I just don't get along. I am so sorry for your surgery gone wrong. Sounds like a horror story, you poor thing. I am glad you are here to write this post!!

Our hair has 3 stages. It is hard to see but there are 3 hairs coming out of that one follicle. The follicle is nourished by a blood flow that produces food for the hair (a keratin type stuff). That is the whitish pulp on the end of the strand of hair that we see if hair is pulled out by root. This what they use for DNA results. When we undergo surgery with anesthesia the dying hair, and the hair that is coming up, is severly cut off from any supply of nourishment, and is shocked and stunned. In reality the roots are "put to sleep". Chemo does this to hair as well! In about 6 weeks after surgery, sometimes sooner, that hair falls out. Because you are dealing with 2 stages of hair, and them being stunned at the same time, the hair seems to fall out all at once. Which is even MORE dramatic and scary. Usually we loose a little every day (80 to 150 hairs). You had an especially long anesthesia, and because of extreme blood loss and trauma, the hair is going to almost all fall out. It will stop, and it WILL repair itself. ! There should be new hair growing in right now. If you get a 10X mirror or magnifying glass you might see it.

You might try 5,000 units of Biotin a day. Andrew Lessman makes a great Biotin suppliment called HAIR SKIN NAILS. Ask a derm if it is okay to use topicals for hair growth. Pantene and Aveda make a great shampoo for hair growth that has had wonderful results and excellent reviews. Pantene you can get at the drug store, but Aveda you need to go online or find an Aveda dealer.. It can work, but I am a not a Doctor.

I had quite a bit of hair loss from radiation 10 years ago. They said It couldn't be radiation because it was so rare. Well, I was that rare person. My hair seemed to grow and fill back in within 3 months or so, but I went on to thin out what I gained back later, with aging and menopause.

Use gentle non sulphite shampoo.

try JOICO KPAK reconstructor conditioner. It is high in protien, and really helps repair the scalp and condition the hair you have now from extreme dryness that can occur.

make sure you are getting enough protien

try to eat organic (no pesticides)

eat lots of chard, and some kale as I have been told chard is good for growing hair. Try eating some everyday for a while

Also, try not to color, perm or use a flat iron while your hair is under stress.

HTH

Last edited on 2/16/2014

life is a banquet and most poor fools are starving to death!"
Auntie Mame

BeckiWV1392531169.864606 PostsRegistered 4/12/2011

I don't have any practical solutions, per se, but I did want to tell you about my sister. She got very sick last year with previously undiagnosed liver and kidney disease. At one point, we were told she would not make it. Then we were told she would need a liver transplant. We were also told that one of her kidneys had actually died and needed to be removed. It was very stressful for her to continually be given bad news in addition to suffering through it all.

Fortunately, she survived and made a full recovery, and did not need a liver transplant and the "dead" kidney came back to life. However, a couple of months after she left the hospital, a good bit of her hair fell out and she was, of course, very upset about it. She was also told it was probably related to all the medical trauma.

She came to a family wedding in August and it was pretty obvious that she had a lot of missing hair. I am happy to say that by Christmas, the balding spots were starting to grow back nicely and it looked much, much better. She didn't really do anything but wait it out. She did talk about getting some Rogaine but I don't think she did. I did buy her some Joan Rivers powder and she used it some when her hair started growing back.

Hopefully, your hair will grow back too. Your body has been through a lot and I think this is something that is a fairly common occurrence after surgery. It is not easy to deal with but maybe it will be helpful to know that it may be only temporary.

I am so sorry that you are going through this, and I really hope that you will begin to see some improvement in the near future.

Also, my youngest daughter suffered a bad bout of alopecia when she was about three. She had not been through any surgery or other trauma. We don't know why her hair started coming out. She lost a good bit over a couple of weeks. Then it stopped. My dermatologist gave me a prescription for Rogaine and I applied it to her bald patches every night. Her hair grew back beautifully and that never happened again. She is 31 now.

Maybe if you talk to a dermatologist or scalp doctor about it, he or she could ease your mind about it and maybe give you some ideas or solutions that you can use. I found this quote on the internet:

Categorized as a temporary type of hair loss, telogen effluvium (also known as shedding) occurs when the body experiences a major stress or trauma like childbirth, malnutrition or surgery. The trauma sends the hair from the growing phase to the resting phase and then into the shedding phase, which can occur in diffuse clumps.

Once the stress has lessened, the hair loss typically goes away on its own, and the hair resumes its normal growing and shedding process.

SouthrnGirl1392531210.46436 PostsRegistered 11/6/2006
On 2/16/2014 ibb38 said:

Andrew Lessman over at hsn has a hair and skin product that's supposed to be excellent. A close female relative also used rogaine for women when her hair was thinning- and it's helped a lot.

Feeling good on the outside is very important as part of your healing process- pay no attention to the naysayers! I've been exactly where you are- a routine surgery (partial hysterectomy as well) gone very wrong.


Wow, didn't think about Rogaine. That's over the counter now, isn't it? I'm a very confident person in who I am and my beliefs and so forth. But this has shaken me and put a little damper on that. I believe feeling good on the outside is important as well. It affects you in a lot of ways. I'll be okay, thankfully.

SouthrnGirl1392531680.77436 PostsRegistered 11/6/2006
On 2/16/2014 BeckiWV said:

I don't have any practical solutions, per se, but I did want to tell you about my sister. She got very sick last year with previously undiagnosed liver and kidney disease. At one point, we were told she would not make it. Then we were told she would need a liver transplant. We were also told that one of her kidneys had actually died and needed to be removed. It was very stressful for her to continually be given bad news in addition to suffering through it all.

Fortunately, she survived and made a full recovery, and did not need a liver transplant and the "dead" kidney came back to life. However, a couple of months after she left the hospital, a good bit of her hair fell out and she was, of course, very upset about it. She was also told it was probably related to all the medical trauma.

She came to a family wedding in August and it was pretty obvious that she had a lot of missing hair. I am happy to say that by Christmas, the balding spots were starting to grow back nicely and it looked much, much better. She didn't really do anything but wait it out. She did talk about getting some Rogaine but I don't think she did. I did buy her some Joan Rivers powder and she used it some when her hair started growing back.

Hopefully, your hair will grow back too. Your body has been through a lot and I think this is something that is a fairly common occurrence after surgery. It is not easy to deal with but maybe it will be helpful to know that it may be only temporary.

I am so sorry that you are going through this, and I really hope that you will begin to see some improvement in the near future.

Also, my youngest daughter suffered a bad bout of alopecia when she was about three. She had not been through any surgery or other trauma. We don't know why her hair started coming out. She lost a good bit over a couple of weeks. Then it stopped. My dermatologist gave me a prescription for Rogaine and I applied it to her bald patches every night. Her hair grew back beautifully and that never happened again. She is 31 now.

Maybe if you talk to a dermatologist or scalp doctor about it, he or she could ease your mind about it and maybe give you some ideas or solutions that you can use. I found this quote on the internet:

Categorized as a temporary type of hair loss, telogen effluvium (also known as shedding) occurs when the body experiences a major stress or trauma like childbirth, malnutrition or surgery. The trauma sends the hair from the growing phase to the resting phase and then into the shedding phase, which can occur in diffuse clumps.

Once the stress has lessened, the hair loss typically goes away on its own, and the hair resumes its normal growing and shedding process.


I'm so glad your sister recovered! It's quite amazing what happens to the body after a surgery. I have to see a dermatologist soon about a few moles. I'll ask him about this when I go. It is good to know this is temporary.

Schnapside­en1392531933.851368 PostsRegistered 5/19/2006

I suggest everyone report that nasty poster for abuse. That's the only way she will stop if her horrid replies are poofed.

SouthrnGirl1392532003.537436 PostsRegistered 11/6/2006
On 2/16/2014 shoekitty said:

I always loose lots of hair from surgery. The anesthesia and I just don't get along. I am so sorry for your surgery gone wrong. Sounds like a horror story, you poor thing. I am glad you are here to write this post!!

Our hair has 3 stages. It is hard to see but there are 3 hairs coming out of that one follicle. The follicle is nourished by a blood flow that produces food for the hair (a keratin type stuff). That is the whitish pulp on the end of the strand of hair that we see if hair is pulled out by root. This what they use for DNA results. When we undergo surgery with anesthesia the dying hair, and the hair that is coming up, is severly cut off from any supply of nourishment, and is shocked and stunned. In reality the roots are "put to sleep". Chemo does this to hair as well! In about 6 weeks after surgery, sometimes sooner, that hair falls out. Because you are dealing with 2 stages of hair, and them being stunned at the same time, the hair seems to fall out all at once. Which is even MORE dramatic and scary. Usually we loose a little every day (80 to 150 hairs). You had an especially long anesthesia, and because of extreme blood loss and trauma, the hair is going to almost all fall out. It will stop, and it WILL repair itself. ! There should be new hair growing in right now. If you get a 10X mirror or magnifying glass you might see it.

You might try 5,000 units of Biotin a day. Andrew Lessman makes a great Biotin suppliment called HAIR SKIN NAILS. Ask a derm if it is okay to use topicals for hair growth. Pantene and Aveda make a great shampoo for hair growth that has had wonderful results and excellent reviews. Pantene you can get at the drug store, but Aveda you need to go online or find an Aveda dealer.. It can work, but I am a not a Doctor.

I had quite a bit of hair loss from radiation 10 years ago. They said It couldn't be radiation because it was so rare. Well, I was that rare person. My hair seemed to grow and fill back in within 3 months or so, but I went on to thin out what I gained back later, with aging and menopause.

Use gentle non sulphite shampoo.

try JOICO KPAK reconstructor conditioner. It is high in protien, and really helps repair the scalp and condition the hair you have now from extreme dryness that can occur.

make sure you are getting enough protien

try to eat organic (no pesticides)

eat lots of chard, and some kale as I have been told chard is good for growing hair. Try eating some everyday for a while

Also, try not to color, perm or use a flat iron while your hair is under stress.

HTH


Chemo is exactly what the doctors compared this to. It was scary to hear that. Thank you so much for your suggestions. I did start taking Biotin a month ago. And I figured diet was going to be important, too, but I just haven't researched what it is I need to be eating more of or less of. Thanks again!

SouthrnGirl1392532766.2436 PostsRegistered 11/6/2006

Thanks everyone for your replies, even the ugly ones. That's just a reminder to myself to keep praying for EVERYONE. ;-)

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm taking this seriously and will see a derm, and will have my doc check ferritin levels. I'm going to research diet changes and eat whatever is suggested (I'll even eat my greens, mom!).

I really am thankful to be alive and I know this may seem petty to some. But I do what I'm supposed to do as a Christian, as a human having compassion and love for others, for everyone. I mentor and try to be a good steward, and I try to give more than I receive. But I'm going to keep praying that I receive more hair soon!

Your support means so much.

Last edited on 2/16/2014

KateChopin1392532783.754510 PostsRegistered 1/17/2010

I have never hear of this before, but it makes sense. I lost a lot of hair after delivering my daughter, and they said it was a combination of hormones and stress. I am so sorry you had to go through this---it is frightening for sure. Hoping you are feeling better now...

beauty jun­kie1392533178.5278574 PostsRegistered 11/1/2006Ft Laud

Biotin is great,I have been on it for years.Not the expensive one but from Walmart,Natures Valley I think,5000mcg's daily and my hair grows like a weed.I have had many surgeries and had plenty of hair fallout.Its best to not mess with color till time goes by.I would cut it short,start Biotin and it will improve.MY DIL who had significant hairloss had great results with a supplement called Viviscol(sp).I think that's the name,Any way she had very good results.

BTW that was a very rude comment made to you and so uncalled for.We as women care about our hair,sick or not,we want to look our best.

The Rainbow Bridge-we do not remember days,we remember moments!!

HappyDaze1392534626.25319039 PostsRegistered 6/13/2012

Ignore ennui1, OP. She is a bitter, miserable person.

Anyway, you have been through a terrible, traumatic experience. I am happy you got through it and are on the mend. I do not have any hair advice for you but I wanted to wish you well.

Take care of you, relax and try to focus on all your blessings and not worry so much about your hair, which will grow back in time. Sometimes if you stress out too much about it, the stress will also cause your hair to fall out.

santorini1392535288.77313 PostsRegistered 1/26/2007

OP, please ignore ennui. She is often like this and should just be ignored.

Your story was chilling. I'm so happy you're okay now, and the hair will certainly come back. I'm not making light of the hair issue at all. Our hair is very important to us and it's shocking when we see it falling out. I have taken Andrew Lessman's hair and nails supplement for years and won't ever stop taking it. My hair grows very fast. Hugs to you.

fanb1392539004.687773 PostsRegistered 3/27/2007

Country Life makes a supplement called Maxi Hair. Read the reviews at iherb where it costs $15. This with generic Rogaine should really help. Tragic events which you seem to handling very well. God bless you.

applebutter1392539301.577331 PostsRegistered 8/16/2007

*hugs* BEEN THERE! I had surgery in April, and from July through October, lost over half, almost two thirds, of my hair.

The good news is that it's growing back. The bad news is that at least to me, it doesn't seem to be as much of it as I was expecting. No real way to know for sure till all my hair is one length again, I suppose...

I've been wearing my hair in a pony tail, and using volumizing products to beef it up a bit. Redken Thickening lotion is GREAT! My other favorite is It's a 10's volumizing blow dry spray.

I apply leave in condition to the ends to protect from styling, then apply one of those two products on the roots and blow dry upside down with a round or large vent brush for volume. Then using a large barrel curling iron, I curl all over to give my hair some body. Finally, I tease it a bit for volume at the crown, spray a little Loreal Boost It High Lift spray (this gives me INSANE lift) on the teased areas or wherever I need height, and gently pull back into a ponytail, being careful to maintain all that work I just did. Then I spray all over to tame flyaways, with Kenra finishing spray.

I know it sounds involved and time consuming, but after a little practice, I can go from wet hair to fully styled in ten minutes. Doesn't hurt that I have less hair to dry, these days...

My hair was almost waist length pre-surgery. I've cut if off to collarbone length. I get a cut and color (foils) every 10 weeks, and have all new growth cut off at every cut. I will keep doing that till the new growth gets to that length, then I can work on growing my length out again. Also, I'm blonder now than I've ever been, because my scalp was really showing through, making my hair look even thinner. With less contrast in color between my fair scalp and hair color, it helps disguise the thinning.

I just had another surgery a couple weeks ago. I'm going to FREAK if the hair loss picks up again. I just can't bear with going through this again.

Last edited on 2/16/2014

Luvmycats1392544517.4974727 PostsRegistered 8/15/2007

I had a similar ordeal- Surgeon cut a major artery during an operation.....had 4 additional operations before someone was FINALLY able to determine what had happened- Many blood transfusions later and I was okay- I, too, had PTSD- very scary! I also developed horrible fears- Seeing myself in a pool of blood was beyond horrifying! I know that you don't want to hear this, but you are lucky to be alive-! Talk to your doctor about the hair loss-

JeanLouise­Finch1392549712.06312512 PostsRegistered 10/3/2011

WOW, SouthrnGirl, you've really been through a lot. In a way, I wish I didn't click into this thread because I'm having my plumbing removed next month. I haven't been terribly worried about it, but the whole hair loss thing does scare me. I've been using WEN exclusively for the past two and a half years, and my hair is very good condition and longer than it's been in many years, so I'm hoping that will play some part in if I have any hair loss or not. I'm also wondering if yours was more severe because of your age and being suddenly forced into menopause. I'm post-menopausal so my hormone production has slowed down naturally on its own, thus will not be getting the severe surgical shock that yours did. That's just speculation. I don't have any experiential advice, but you've gotten some good suggestions. I've read that surgical/anesthesia related hair loss is temporary and it will grow back. Some ladies get their hair cut a little shorter while they're waiting for their new hair to come in again. As much as I hate to think about it, it's something I may need to consider for myself. Much good luck to you.

Last edited on 2/16/2014

luv pets1392552359.557265 PostsRegistered 4/16/2008
I am so very sorry for your health issues. I believe what you have is called Telogen Effulvium. I do have it and the first question I am asked by any doctor is if I have had anesthesia lately for surgery. I have not, but have other issues. My hairdressers estimates I have lost sixty per cent of my hair between visits. I go every six weeks. I was told it would go back. I started my hair loss Dec. 14. I remember the exact date because it was so alarming. I did cut my hair short from chin length and then went shorter. I now have a pixie style cut. It has helped make my hair look fuller. Google telogen effluvium. It may have answers to help. Bless you for a speedy recovery.

peace65761392554884.3431241 PostsRegistered 10/17/2009

I am so sorry you have had to go through this nightmare. I am a recovery room nurse and while things like that happen very rarely they can be devastating when they do. You've gotten some great suggestions from the ladies on the board…get your ferritin level checked, take a biotin supplement, and give yourself time to heal.

turtle521392555295.182813 PostsRegistered 2/22/2008

Well, ennui is GONE! I for one, reported her, and her comments have been removed! Hopefully she is gone for good!

OP, I hope that you are considering suing the doctor and/or the hospital. They are afraid and that's why they paid your bill, but I STILL think that you should speak with a good lawyer and sue.

This too shall pass.

Page 1 of 3
1 2 3 Next