Hair Loss After Gastric Sleeve

person looking at hair in their hands that has fallen out of their head

If you or someone you love is a candidate for gastric sleeve surgery, there are many aspects to consider before heading into your procedure.

Although many people focus on the weight loss and diet and lifestyle changes required post-surgery, other important factors should be understood before opting for this life-changing treatment.

With significant weight loss, aside from the changes in how your body looks and the number on the scale, other physical changes commonly occur, such as hair loss.

Hair loss after gastric sleeve surgery is a common and stressful reality for those undergoing the weight loss procedure.

While it can be challenging to deal with new and unexpected hair loss, it is often temporary, lasting up to 6 months.

The good news is that if you’re to have gastric sleeve surgery in the next year, there are certain things you can do to lower your risk of hair loss altogether.

Continue reading to learn more about hair loss after gastric sleeve surgery. 

The Benefits of Gastric Sleeve

The “gastric sleeve,” or “sleeve gastrectomy,” is a surgical procedure in which most of the stomach is removed to restrict food intake. The result is rapid and efficient weight loss.

While the main benefit of gastric sleeve surgery is weight loss, other advantages include

  1. Appetite Suppression: By removing the fundus, the body’s ability to produce ghrelin, a hormone that increases appetite, is significantly reduced.
  2. A decrease in food intake: After gastric sleeve surgery, the stomach is about 30% of its original size and can only hold about 10% of what the actual stomach could. This significant change reduces the amount of food you can consume.

Both benefits are the driving factor behind the speed at which you lose weight after surgery.

Stomach size is the most significant physical change, but many people experience other bodily changes, including hair loss after gastric sleeve.

Will I Experience Hair Loss After Gastric Sleeve?

The short answer is maybe.

Around 15% of people who undergo gastric sleeve surgery will experience hair loss following the procedure.

Understanding the triggers of hair loss can help reduce your risk entirely.

Reasons for Hair Loss After Surgery

Any surgery, trauma, or illness can lead to hair loss.

The biggest factors that contribute to rapid hair loss after gastric sleeve are

  • undergoing surgery itself
  • reduced caloric intake
  • lowered protein intake
  • lack of supplements

Other reasons for hair loss after gastric sleeve include

  • hormonal imbalance
  • thyroid conditions
  • chronic diseases, such as liver disease
  • iron deficiency
  • Medications such as beta-blockers, vitamin A, or anticoagulants

The good news is that hair loss after gastric sleeve is temporary. Unless you’re living with a chronic condition or specific genetic condition that causes continual hair loss, your hair growth will return to normal within 6 to 12 months following the procedure.

How Can I Avoid Hair Loss After Gastric Sleeve?

Hair loss after surgery is not entirely preventable, but there are ways to significantly reduce your risk of developing it in the first place.

Before your procedure, reduce your stress levels and remain as calm and grounded as possible. Stress can play a role in hair loss even before you hit surgery day.

Other ways to reduce your risk of hair loss include

  • Speaking to your bariatric specialist and primary care provider to complete proper testing for suspected chronic conditions or hair-loss-related illnesses
  • Sticking to the diet and supplement plan your bariatric specialist provides at all times. Any diversion from it can lead to significant nutritional deficiencies.
  • Taking iron supplements if you are iron deficient
  • Avoiding excess amounts of vitamin A and zinc supplements that could play a role in hair loss after surgery

Effective Gastric Sleeve Treatment Is Here

If you’ve been struggling to lose weight on your own, even after diet changes and exercise changes, we are here to help.

Beltre Bariatrics offers a variety of weight loss options, including the gastric sleeve, to help you lose weight and keep it off.

If you’re concerned about hair loss after surgery or have questions about the gastric sleeve procedure, we are happy to discuss everything at a comprehensive consultation.

Contact our team of bariatric experts today to schedule an appointment and determine if gastric sleeve surgery is right for you.


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