Background: Nutritional complications following surgery for morbid obesity include both vitamin and mineral deficiency. Severe cases of zinc deficiency can lead to alopecia, diarrhoea, emotional disorders, weight loss, intercurrent infection, bullous-pustular dermatitis and hypogonadism in males. Hair loss may occur after vertical gastroplasty (VG). Methods: Diffuse hair loss occurred in 47 out of 130 patients who underwent VG. All patients had been routinely advised to take a multivitamin supplement, but 47 developed hair loss despite taking the supplement. These patients were then prescribed Zinc Sulphate 200 mg three times a day. There was no alteration in the vitamin supplementation. Results: Arrest of hair loss and regrowth occurred in all patients. However, five patients reported recurrence of hair loss after stopping zinc. This loss was reversed within 6 months of recommencing zinc 600 mg daily. Ten control patients had no hair loss after gastrointestinal surgery. Conclusion: Significant hair loss occurred in about one-third of patients after VG, and was reversed by zinc supplementation.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
About this article
Cite this article
Neve, H.J., Bhatti, W.A., Soulsby, C. et al. Reversal of Hair Loss following Vertical Gastroplasty when Treated with Zinc Sulphate. OBES SURG 6, 63–65 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1381/096089296765557295
- Vertical banded gastroplasty
- weight loss
- hair loss
- zinc sulphate