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Hair loss problem post kidney surgery. Is there a medical way to treat this problem without opting hair transplant?

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Practicing since : 1996
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Hello Doctor. I have been facing a problem hair loss since 2005 only post a kidney surgery that I underwent. I have mentioned details of the surgery in my medical history for your reference. Prior to this surgery, I did not have any issues pertaining to my hair. As a background, no one in my family (including father, elder brother or grandfather) had any such problems. I have been to a couple of dermatologists in the past 8 years. Both of them gave my a multi-vitamin and the first doctor suggested me a topical solution containing Minoxidil. I found myself to be allergic to this solution since it gave me an itchy scalp. What I have been told by all of them is that this is male-pattern baldness and the effects cannot be reversed. However, these multi-vitamins along with maintaining a clean and dandruff-free scalp can help me control it to an extent. On the contrary, neither have I been able to control this problem nor did I witness any fresh hair growth on my scalp. Later on, I have been advised to go for a hair transplant. Considering transplant to be an expensive treatment, I wanted to double-check with you that apart from maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle, is there a medical way to treat this problem without opting for a transplant ?
Posted Sun, 1 Dec 2013 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Bharat Chawda 19 hours later
Brief Answer: Hair transplantation only if baldness has set in. Detailed Answer: Hi!, Thank you for posting your query, You have provided with good information regarding your health concern and it is a very good description. I appreciate it.However I would like to know whether baldness in your case has already set in or is it that you still have hair and loosing it. In case baldness has already set in ,then the only option left is hair transplantation .In bald patient there is very bleak chance that any medical solution or therapy would help.Though there are doctors in such cases who are doing STEM CELL THERAPY and MESOTHERAPY (in form of tiny injections) ,but the results are not very good & one cannot be dependent on that.These are new techniques so results and research are still awaited. By your description I am not able to make out what is the exact status of your hair at present.If you can send me a picture of the scalp it would help me further. You have a feature to upload the reports / image by yourself at the right side of the query page, please utilize that so that I can answer your queries better.You can also email the same to YYYY@YYYY with “ATTN: ” in the subject line. If you are semi-bald and there are hair left on your scalp then solutions like minoxidil & amenixil would help .You mentioned that you had developed reaction to minoxidil ,which can happen to some patients .Minoxidil is manufactured by lot of companies .I think you should try a different brand and observe again whether you develop the same reaction or not.Minoxidil is a good medical option .You get this at various concentrations in the range of 2%,5% & 10%.I prefer 10% in my patients to start with.Later on you can taper it .It has to be used for good 8 to 10 months.I also prefer tablets like finestride & biotin in my patients. As you had mentioned your hair loss started after you had undergone a surgery .This is a very common finding in patients & such hair loss is known as stress induced telogen effluvium.This at times is associated with patterned hair loss ,which is known as Androgenetic alopecia(AGA).In AGA we observe hair loss mainly on front going till the crown of the scalp.There is a frontal recession also .But the hair on sides and back are preserved. AGA is usually a familial condition .This depends on your genes and hormones . Other causes are hair loss is lack of sleep,stress,iron deficiency ,hormonal reasons ,thyroid problem ,use of chemical on scalp etc.Your problem would have started with stress induced telogen effluvium & has not merged with AGA. Once baldness has set in then there is little or no chance that any medicines would work.In such cases the only permanent solution is hair transplantation. If you can send me a picture of yours showing your front and side profile I can advice you better. Awaiting for your reply. Regards, Dr.Bharat chawda XXXXXXX specialist, Dermatology.
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Follow-up: Hair loss problem post kidney surgery. Is there a medical way to treat this problem without opting hair transplant? 21 hours later
Thank you so much Dr. XXXXXXX for such a descriptive reply. I am sending pictures of my scalp through an email within a minute from now. And as you mentioned about AGA, even I have healthy hair around sides and back and problem areas being front and crown. As per me, I believe baldness has set in but leave it to you to decide that after seeing my pictures. Thanks again. XXXX
Answered by Dr. Bharat Chawda 3 hours later
Brief Answer: Hair transplantation is a good option. Detailed Answer: Hi! XXXX, Thank you posting the pictures . It seems you are semi bald and in a state where you observe gradual recession of frontal hair line.You have lost good bit of hair on crown too. Hair transplantation is a good option though costly .If my patient doesn't want to go for hair transplantation ,then I would put him on minoxidil solution (10%) to be applied twice a day for couple of months.I also would prefer finetsride tablet (1mg) daily once along with tablet Biotin. These are prescription based drugs ,so I would recommend you to consult a dermatologist for proper prescription. A healthy life style is a must. Also improve your diet with green leafy vegetables , fresh fruits, plenty of water, pulses, high protein diet(take sprouts) , avoid items with high sugar content like sweets & chocolates, less of Chinese foods, less of pizza & burgers ,take more of milk & ghee, dry fruits . Good sleep & plenty of water also has a important role to play . Hope I've answered your query. Should you have additional concern regarding the same ,I would be happy to address it. Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries. Regards, Dr.Bharat chawda XXXXXXX specialist, Dermatology.
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Follow-up: Hair loss problem post kidney surgery. Is there a medical way to treat this problem without opting hair transplant? 7 minutes later
Thanks again for a prompt response Dr. XXXXXXX If I may ask, is there a clinic and/or a Doctor that you would recommend me for hair transplant? Secondly, there are multiple ways of hair transplant available today. For instance some leaving behind more scars, some being more painful than others. I dont know the technical terms though. Would you recommend any one out of the several available methods of implant which has a higher success rate? Please consider this as my final query and I shall close this discussion after your response. Thanks for your patience. XXXX
Answered by Dr. Bharat Chawda 24 hours later
Brief Answer: FUE & FUT are two basic techniques. Detailed Answer: Hello XXXX, Thank you for writing back, There are broadly two different methods of hair transplantation . 1) FUT (Follicular unit transaction) method(also known as FUSE-FOLLICULAR UNIT STRIP EXTRACTION ) in which we take a strip of hair from the back(occipital ) region of the scalp .The back area is then sutured, leaving a linear scar on the back. This long strip of hair which is taken out is then slivered, thus making single and double hair follicles.Each follicular unit may contain either one or two hair. These hair follicles are then implanted on the front of the scalp(i.e. bald area) .Before implanting multiple spaces or slits are made on the front of the scalp using special blades so as to place these hair grafts.Procedure is done under local anesthesia. The disadvantage of this technique is that it leads to a big linear scar on the back of the scalp & is a slightly painful technique. 2) FUE (Follicular unit extraction ) technique: The main difference between FUE and FUT is the method by which follicular units are removed from the donor area i.e. back of the scalp. The remainder of the procedure is essentially the same. In FUE procedure we have to first shave the back area of the scalp ,following which tiny injections are given to numb the back area. Robotic machine is used to extract the single and double hair follicles from the back .Multiple such follicles are removed from the back of scalp.These hair follicles are then grafted on the front of the scalp where baldness is seen. Again tiny injections are given on the front area to numb the area(this procedure is same in FUT also).So there is no strip taken out in this procedure and hence there is no linear scar on back. The whole procedure might take 5-6 hrs.These surgeries are usually carried out in 1 day.You may need to take rest for couple of days depending upon the pain.Head can be washed on day 4 of the surgery. Grafted hair usually takes 3-6 months time to grow. ADVANTAGES OF FUE TECHNIQUE 1)More patient friendly technique. 2)No stitch marks on the back and thus no stitch removal ,thus no linear scar on back.. 3)Less pain as compared to FUT procedure. 4)Faster hair growth . 5)Minimal touch technique, thus grafts are not damaged. 6)Quality of graft is very good. DISADVANTAGES OF FUE TECHNIQUE 1)Requires much more physician time . 2)More expensive. 3)Needs to shave the whole scalp . . There are many doctors doing these procedures .It may not be ethical if I suggest you a particular name.You can google your search for a hair transplantation surgeon near your place.It would be good if you talk to at-least 3 or 4 doctors before deciding for the procedure.Look for a surgeon who has more experience in to doing it & can show some real before and after pictures .It would be good if he can make you see or meet some of his previous patients undergone the surgery. As far as technique of hair transplantation is concerned I would suggest FUE. You also need to have a very realistic expectation of the surgery since you may not get very high density in one sitting especially as you had earlier. Hope this would help you understand the technique . Should you have additional concern regarding the same ,I would be happy to address it. Regards, Dr.Bharat chawda XXXXXXX specialist, Dermatology
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