Hair Transplantation for Patients with Thyroid Disorders

The thyroid gland is a tiny, butterfly-shaped gland situated in the neck region that plays an important role in regulating the functions of the body, including growth, energy levels, and metabolism.

If the thyroid gland does not function properly, it could lead to hormonal disturbances. One of the symptoms associated with a thyroid disorder is a disruption in the hair growth cycle, causing thinning and loss of hair. This condition is known as thyroid hair loss.

Excessive thinning or loss of hair may require hair transplant surgery to restore the lost hair and improve the appearance of the person. Hair transplantation is a type of surgical procedure in which the hair follicles are removed from a part of the body, known as the donor site, and transferred to a bald body part, known as the recipient site.

In this article, we will be discussing hair transplantation for patients having thyroid disorders.

Which Are the Common Thyroid Disorders Associated with Hair Loss?

Untreated, prolonged thyroid disorders can result in thyroid hair loss. The different types of thyroid disorders that can lead to hair loss are:

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid gland is a condition that develops when the thyroid gland in the neck fails to produce sufficient thyroid hormone. The condition slows down the metabolism of the body. The hair follicles become less active in such cases, leading to the hair turning brittle, thin, and dry.

Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism or an overactive thyroid is a condition that occurs when the thyroid gland makes too much thyroid hormone. This condition increases the metabolism of the body and can lead to thin, soft, and greasy hair.

Other Thyroid Disorders

Other thyroid disorders like Graves’ disease (an immune system disorder resulting in hyperthyroidism) and Hashimoto’s disease (an autoimmune disorder that can lead to hypothyroidism) can also lead to loss of hair, but this occurs less commonly.

Can All Patients with Thyroid Disorders Undergo Hair Transplantation?

Only those patients having thyroid disorders can undergo a hair transplantation procedure whose condition is well-managed and stable. Patients with uncontrolled thyroid levels are less likely to get successful hair transplantation results due to the ongoing process of hair loss.

Some diagnostic tests are recommended before undergoing a hair transplant surgery to check that the levels of thyroid hormones are stable and any adjustments needed in medications are done well before undergoing a hair transplant surgery.

What Is the Procedure for Hair Transplant Surgery?

After cleaning the patient’s scalp thoroughly, the surgeon will use a small needle to give local anesthesia, which helps in numbing an area of the patient’s head. 

Two types of techniques may then be used to move the hair follicles from a hair-dense area to an area with loss or thinning of hair. These techniques include the following:

Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)

The procedure involves the removal of a strip of scalp skin from the donor area, which is usually at the back of the head. The hair follicles are then extracted and transplanted to the recipient site.

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)

This procedure involves the extraction of individual hair follicles directly from the donor site and their implantation in the recipient area.

A hair transplantation procedure generally takes four hours or more to complete and multiple sessions may be needed many months apart to achieve the desired results.

Both techniques have their own benefits and risks, but the choice of the technique depends on the hair loss pattern of the patient, the quality of the hair obtained from the donor area, and the personal preference of the patient.

What Are the Risks of Hair Transplantation for a Thyroid Disorder Patient?

Although hair transplantation is generally considered to be a safe procedure, patients having thyroid disorders may face some risks, like:

  • Unsatisfactory results because of ongoing imbalances in the hormonal levels
  • Higher rate of hair transplant failure, especially if thyroid disorder is not well-controlled

Other complications could include the following:

  • Infection
  • Scarring
  • Hair growth that looks unnatural
  • Continued hair loss if thyroid disorder worsens or if thyroid levels are not well-managed

How Is the Recovery After Hair Transplantation in a Thyroid Patient?

The recovery period following a hair transplant surgery can vary. Usually, the patient can resume work within a couple of days, but the scalp could require many weeks to heal completely.

The transplanted hair tends to fall out initially, which is a process known as shock loss, but the hair usually grows back within a couple of months.

The complete results of a hair transplant surgery are visible only after approximately one year. During this period, the patient is recommended to monitor his or her thyroid levels continuously to avoid hair transplant failure, minimize or stop further hair loss, and support new hair growth.

Conclusion

It is common for patients having thyroid disorders to experience hair loss. In many cases, the hair grows back once the thyroid condition is managed. However, in cases of severe or chronic thyroid disorders, hair transplantation may be recommended, provided the thyroid hormone levels are well-managed.

You can contact your doctor to understand if you are a good candidate for undergoing a hair transplantation procedure in spite of your thyroid condition.


ALCS Hair Transplant and Cosmetic Clinic, under the leadership of the internationally recognized Cosmetic Surgeon, Dr. Sunil Arora, specializes in hair restoration and cosmetic procedures. With a focus on quality, ALCS Clinic offers a range of Hair Transplantation and Cosmetic Surgery Services under one roof.


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