Reply
Highlighted
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 122
Registered: ‎04-12-2010

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

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.

Contributor
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎03-12-2010

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

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.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 2,801
Registered: ‎09-23-2012

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

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.
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2,445
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

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

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.

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 122
Registered: ‎04-12-2010

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

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! Smiley Happy Thank you for your kind words.

Super Contributor
Posts: 2,842
Registered: ‎10-01-2011

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

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!
N/A
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎03-14-2010

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

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.
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 122
Registered: ‎04-12-2010

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

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.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,034
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

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

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

Super Contributor
Posts: 2,877
Registered: ‎04-12-2011

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

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.

Let's Stay in Touch

* *You're signing up to receive QVC promotional email.
Connect with Us

The scoop on everything Q, from helpful tips to interesting tidbits, questions, answers, and more.

QVC is not responsible for the availability, content, security, policies, or practices of the above referenced third-party linked sites, nor liable for statements, claims, opinions, or representations contained therein. QVC's Privacy Statement does not apply to these third-party web sites.

© 1995–2015 QVC, Inc. All rights reserved. Trademark Notice

Desktop View Mobile View