Does Anaesthesia Cause Hair Loss?


Blog, Hair loss | Dr Dhanraj Chavan | July 7, 2023

Does Anaesthesia Cause Hair Loss?

Are you experiencing hair loss? Get in touch with the best of our hair specialists in Pune to understand your hair condition. For a hair treatment or to get hair transplant, book an appointment with our dermatologists near you, call +919584584111.

Table Of Contents

Anaesthesia and Hair Loss: Are They Related?

How to Prevent Hair Loss after Surgery?

How does anaesthesia affect your hair? The side effects of anaesthesia mainly include sleepiness, nausea, dry mouth, headache and shivering. Anaesthesia is not known to cause permanent hair loss directly, but certain medications may slow down the process of hair growth. Some individuals may experience hair loss after surgery, but within months after that, hair growth is restored to previous levels. This hair loss is a type of telogen effluvium caused by disruption to the growth cycle of hair follicles. Hair loss after surgery is predominantly caused by stress, hormonal imbalance or an improper diet. How to stop hair loss from anaesthesia? Stay informed about the type of anaesthesia, other medicines (if any) and their possible side effects on hair growth, and ask your doctor about the best way to reduce or stop these adverse effects. Focus mainly on reducing your stress levels, follow a healthy diet, and sleep well, so as to prevent hair loss and also maintain overall health before and after the surgery.

Healthy individuals lose around 50 to 100 hair strands daily, but losing hair in amounts larger than this may require diagnosis and treatment. The reasons for hair loss are many and they primarily include, genetics, heredity, hormonal imbalance, stress, nutritional deficiencies, lack of proper hair care, sun damage, and exposure of the hair to heat or harsh chemicals. Certain underlying health conditions and some treatment procedures and medicines may lead to hair fall. Similarly, certain events like a surgery may trigger hair loss. Mostly, post-surgical loss of hair is only temporary and hair growth is restored in a few months after the surgery. Here is how anaesthesia and surgery can cause hair loss.

  • Surgery can sometimes put your hair follicles in the resting phase for a longer time, approximately 2-3 months. So, post-surgical hair loss does not result in bald patches, but rather leads to progressive hair thinning all over the scalp.
  • Surgery is a stressful event, due to which the nutrients may be directed away from your vital organs, leading to arrest of normal hair growth.
  • During an operation and recovery phase, the head may have been kept in the same position for a long time, which may reduce the blood flowing to the hair follicles and cause positional shedding of hairs.
  • Being under stressful events due to surgery, hospitalization and anaesthesia for a long time can lead to telogen effluvium hair loss due to reduced cell division. The hair fall becomes apparent after 2-3 months of the stressful event and recovers completely with proper treatment.
  • Certain medicines depending on the surgery and hospitalization are found to cause TE-related hair loss.
  • Head and neck surgeries those in which incisions are made on the scalp, are more likely to cause hair loss by scarring alopecia on the operated area and telogen hair loss in surrounding areas due to temporary change in blood supply.

So, does anaesthesia cause hair loss? Yes, hypotensive anaesthesia (which is used to reduce blood loss in some surgeries), and being under anaesthesia for lengthy durations can lead to hair loss, but it is mostly indirectly related and in other instances of hair loss after anaesthesia, it is usually the surgery, the accompanying stress, the impaired diet and nutrition or some other factors related to the surgery, that are the actual reasons for hair loss. 

How to Prevent Hair Loss after Surgery?

  • It is important to reduce the stress and anxiety, as excessive stress arising before surgery, can lead to hair fall.
  • It is equally important to exercise daily and take a good sleep, so as to maintain overall health before and after the surgery, and prevent the hair loss resulting from an unhealthy lifestyle.

Adequate sleep

  • Following a nutritious diet is of prime importance to prevent any nutritional deficiencies that may lead to hair loss. Loss of appetite and fatigue after surgery may add to hair loss, so following a nutritious diet for a few months after the surgery is a must to cover up the loss during hospitalization. For any diet recommendations, you could consult your doctor.

If you have undergone a surgery and are experiencing hair loss, you should first inform your doctor about the same. For queries related to hair loss due to anaesthesia or post-surgical hair loss, and to get the best hair loss treatment, you must consult a dermatologist. If you are seeking one, consider approaching HairMD. It is a hair transplant centre in Pune with a team of experienced dermatologists who specialize in treating hair conditions. With their able guidance, you will be able to attain healthy and beautiful hair.

Are you looking for hair fall solution? Get in touch with the best of our hair doctors in Pune to cure your hair loss. To book an appointment for a hair treatment or hair transplantation, contact our dermatologists near you, call +919584584111.

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