Hair Loss After Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy

Obes Surg. 2018 Dec;28(12):3929-3934. doi: 10.1007/s11695-018-3433-3.


Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of hair loss after laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG). The effects of variables on the likelihood that patients developed hair loss were also examined.

Material and methods: Fifty patients who underwent LSG were enrolled in this prospective study. Demographics, hematocrit, iron, zinc, folic acid, vitamin B12, total proteins, and albumin were evaluated preoperatively and 6 months postoperatively.

Results: Hair loss was observed in 56% of patients and particularly in 46% in females and in 10% in males. Analysis of variance indicated statistical differences for hair loss among the groups with and without hair loss concerning preoperative zinc (p < 0.001), postoperative zinc (p < 0.001), preoperative B12 (p < 0.001), postoperative B12 (p < 0.001), postoperative folic acid (p = 0.039), and postoperative use of supplements (p < 0.001). Patients with hair loss had lower values of zinc preoperatively and postoperatively compared to patients without hair loss (0.61 vs 0.81 mcg/ml) (0.46 vs 0.73 mcg/ml) and also lower values of vitamin B12 preoperatively and postoperatively compared to patients without hair loss (243.04 vs 337.41 pg/ml) (261.54 vs 325.68 pg/ml). Interestingly, the zinc levels were normal preoperatively and lower to normal levels postoperatively and the levels of vitamin B12 were lower than normal values preoperatively in patients with hair loss. Patients with hair loss had mean lower levels of postoperative folic acid of 8 ng/ml.

Conclusion: The prevalence of hair loss was 56% 6 months after LSG. Preoperative monitoring and counseling of these micronutrients may be a preventive and therapeutic measure.

Keywords: Bariatric surgery; Hair loss; Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy; Nutrition; Obesity; Obesity surgery; Zinc.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alopecia / blood
  • Alopecia / epidemiology*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Folic Acid / blood
  • Gastrectomy / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Iron / blood
  • Laparoscopy / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Micronutrients / blood
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity, Morbid / blood
  • Obesity, Morbid / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications / blood
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Vitamin B 12 / blood
  • Zinc / blood


  • Micronutrients
  • Folic Acid
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin B 12