Will Temporal Artery Ligation Cause Hair Loss?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am emailing you to ask a very particular question. In the times you have performed the Temporal Artery Ligation Surgery, have you ever witnessed hair loss occurring in any of your patients? In fact, have you ever witnessed hair loss occurring in ANY procedure that relates to any procedure or ligation of the head and neck. I am asking because there are wild theories about blood flow being the cause of hair loss. Please get back to me! 

A: The answer to your question is no nor would I expect that to ever occur. The scalp is simply too vascular with such an extensive anastomotic network that no single artery ligation effects an overall inflow at all.

I will tell you of a not so wild scalp blood flow fact known as homestasis flow. To maintain a vascular flow input to which it is accustomed if one or multiple inflow vessels are ligated the remaining arterial vessels dilate to increase their inflow, thus maintaining the amount of inflow which originally existed.

This is the vascular basis of pedicled skin flaps which have been used in plastic surgery for over 100 years.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana