“Open Heart Surgery And Hair Loss?” Asks Tim

I just received a very interesting question about hair loss and heart surgery from Tim.

He writes, “Dear Adam – I had an aortic valve replacement and an aneurysm repair procedure done in February, 2009. Your book really helped me prepare for my surgery! Anyways, the operation and recovery went very well but now I seem to be losing my hair very rapidly. I am a 62-year old male that has been taking Propecia and using Rogaine for 20 years. Could it be the stress of the open heart surgery that is causing my hair loss? Has anyone else who has had this type of surgery had sudden hair loss like mine? Thanks, Tim”

Hair loss after heart surgery

I can really, really, really, really, really relate to Tim’s question about hair loss after open heart surgery.

“Why?” you might be wondering.

Well, I have to admit…I used to have a full head of hair. Then, I had open heart surgery. Now, I’m losing my hair like crazy. Maybe it is the stress of the surgery and recovery? Maybe it’s the stress of becoming a father? Or, maybe my age is simply catching up with me?

To answer Tim’s question, I just did some research about this topic. Unfortunately, I didn’t find any clinical research that connected hair loss with heart surgery. Then again, I doubt many grants have been issued for this type of research. ๐Ÿ™‚

Perhaps you can help Tim and me? Did you experience baldness or balding patterns following heart surgery? If so, please leave a comment below.

Keep on tickin!

Adam Pick
Written by Adam Pick

Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of HeartValveSurgery.com.

To learn how Adam has helped millions of people with heart valve disease, watch Adam's video, subscribe to his free newsletter, or visit his Facebook, or Twitter pages.

  • Larisa Hidalgo

    My hair stopped falling out about a month ago since Feb 2013.

  • Don

    I had an aortic valve replacement July 22, 2013. My hair has suddenly started to come out by hands full. What gives?

  • Vickie

    I had minimally invasive mitral valve replacement on 9/10/13 with lots of complications including extremely low blood pressure for several days. Now that I’m on warfarin for life i’m concerned that my hair loss is due to the medication. The hair loss began around December 1 so I’m really praying that it’s related to surgery. What gives is right!

  • Larisa Hidalgo

    Yes, it is related to surgery. Mine lasted for 7 months.

  • Elizabeth Killian

    I had triple bypass and a mitral valve repair in October of 2011. Up until then my hair was very straight and with good body.
    After the surgery my hair turned very soft and quite wavy and CURLY. After hair loss and it coming back I like my hair a hundred times better than it was before. Go figure.

  • Kelly

    I had triple by-pass at age 42 in 2011-shortly after surgery my hair kept falling out in clumps in the shower-I was terrified thinking I would be bald in months I have very thick long hair-I seen the dr. And they told me it was stree from the surgery. Thank god it stopped falling out and grew back and looks great now! Really all you emotionally go threw with heart surgery, hair falling out makes of even more stress! All is good today!

  • Christine Herdell

    I had aortic valve replacement open heart surgery in early February 2014. I have always had fine thin hair. But about a month ago, I noticed that it is thinner than ever and my shiny scalp is showing through! I am also experiencing a tenderness on the top of my scalp and toward my forehead. I was put on Coumadin for atrial fibrillation but hopefully can stop that in a few weeks. I was on Amiodorone for a few weeks, but it made me so sick that the doctor stopped it. I also take Metoprolol (started a couple of months before surgery). So you see it is impossible to isolate one single factor that might explain this hair loss. I recently had a CBC done and it showed that my thyroid is sluggish and I’m anemic. What next? Has anyone else ever had thyroid issues after open heart surgery?

  • Elizabeth Killian

    I had the same problem after open heart surgery. My hair got thin but my doctor told me to take one Biotin and one zinc pill a day. My hair has gotten much much better. BUT the most amazing part is that all my life I’ve had straight hair and now it’s actually gotten rather curly.
    Yes I have that same bit of tenderness on the very top of my scalp. No clue what that is all about.
    I should also mention that I had a kidney transplant 9 years ago and sure take plenty of pills from blood pressure meds to anti-rejection meds. Never really affected my hair until the heart thing. That will be three years ago in Sept. So, do try the Biotin and Zinc but of course ask your doctor first.
    BTW, doing fine and don’t have to use the hair curler like I used to. Good Luck.

  • Vickie

    Thank-you to all who replied about hair loss. Its now been nearly 9 months since surgery and my hair is growing back. Most noticeable in the front since it frizzes in the humidity. I feel great now and am back to my golf game. Well worth having the surgery and all those problems!

  • ron reid

    Wow , this page has been the most helpful for me .I had valve and 7 blockages done on Jan.31 2114 . four months ago. the last few weeks I have noticed my hair thinning ,seems pretty fast. 65 in July .I was thinking my mirror was getting old on me. thanks to all and good luck RON..

  • Dani Millar

    A lot of people I know have Had luck with the Hair Skin Nails supplement from it works! If you want to check it out go here!

    I seriously love this stuff, it’s a supplement and is reasonably priced ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Linda

    It has been 5 months since I had triple bypass surgery I’ve noticed that I’ve lost a lot of hair since my surgery I am a 60 year old female

  • Michele Consulmagno-Morrell

    Hi Linda I’m Michele – I’m 52 and 3 months ago had a quad bypass – starting losing my hair 2.5 months after — has your hair loss stopped? I’m freaking!

  • Kathy Boyd

    I had mitral valve replacement April 27, 2015 and in the past month I have been losing my hair like crazy and shedding. I am freaking out. I am 57 years old and have pretty thick hair, but OMG, I can not lose my hair too. I have never in my life had medical issues. My arteries are clear, my cholesterol, etc. is good, but my hair loss is causing me stress. Please, someone can you tell me what is a good supplement to take and reassure me my hair will grow back. My hair is very long, but if I need to cut it to prevent hair loss, I am willing to do it. Help!

  • Tansmom

    My mother had a full head of hair and had 5 bypasses and aortic valve replacement. Now – 4 months later she barely has a hair left on her head. She is hysterical about it!

  • dan

    i had triple heart by-pass on Feb 12 2015 and the hair i lost over last few years is COMING BACK IN not falling out it is very noticeable in places i was smooth

  • Cher

    I just had an aortic valve replacement and one by pass on July 2, 2015. I had complications and was in the OR almost 2 hours longer than normal. I have been having major hair loss. I do take synthroid for my thyroid and noticed my usually normal TSH blood test was considered low at 0.197. I am going to show my doctor the results. I have been taking Hair, Skin and Nails supplement. Hope it helps as I use to have long thick hair.

  • Raul rodriguez jr

    Hi I had aorta dissection on January 5 2015 had always a full thick of hair. Now it’s starting to fall out a lot, been stressing due to recovery and not thrilled about this hair loss. Any supplements I can take, been using nioxin for a while . Is biotin good to take ? Especially now with so many meds I’m taking?

  • Debbie Sykes

    Hi Adam,
    I appreciate all your effort to educate and encourage those of us impacted by health matters of the heart.
    I have experienced significant hair loss after my open heart mitral and tricuspid valve repair surgery 8 weeks ago. I became aware of it within a week after surgery and had never experienced hair loss prior. My hair stylist told me she sees this effect on many post surgery clients who had significant time under general anesthesia. Not a scientific answer but I join you and others with this experience.

  • Betty Custer Satterfield

    I had a quad bi-pass surgery along with my aortic valve replaced and within 4 weeks of surgery I have loss so much hair that i now have two areas of my head that I am having to try and cover. I was 68 years old when I had the surgery two years go and had never experienced hair loss before that. My hair dresser said she sees this often with her clients that undergo major surgery. I see my cardiologist in 2 weeks and plan to ask him about it.

  • Nancy Holmes Avalos

    Tim, I am with my very good friend who had valve replacement in feb 2017 and her hair is falling out by the gallons! She too is very concerned. She is 55 yrs old and never had this issue. I think you may be on to something here.

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