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Anyone experience a scalp biopsy?....

Discussion in 'Women's General Hair Loss Discussions' started by JenVoy, Dec 8, 2015.

  1. JenVoy

    JenVoy Established Member

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    I relented and scheduled for a scalp biopsy in January, which is the 6 month mark. Has anyone else gone through this? If so, any advice? I'm going to a derm (who supposedly) specializes in hair loss. How long does it typically take to obtain results?
     
  2. bc2005

    bc2005 Established Member

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    mine was super easy and you can't even tell where I had the biopsy. He did a great job picking a place he could get a sample and making unnoticeable. Just make sure they actually read you the results. I made my doctor read it out loud. Or get a copy.

    I think it took about a week before the results came in. I had two stitches and everything healed up fine.
    I'm so glad I did it.
     
  3. Wolf924

    Wolf924 Experienced Member

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    Yes, I went through it. And I consulted three derms, an internist, my gyno and a hair specialist BEFORE I got one. I researched this to death to be sure I was going to get an accurate result.

    My sincere advice is not to get one if you are still actively shedding very high because the results can be skewed. My derm advised waiting until the shedding had gone down slightly so the results wouldn't just come back as TE if there was something else going on there. Also, your FE should be completely stable (above 70) for several months before you get one to ensure accuracy. Those who have low FE and get a biopsy could have an Androgenetic Alopecia result because their intermediate hairs from low FE are counted as miniaturized.

    If you really want to move ahead regardless, I would definitely make sure to choose the area of your biopsy carefully--usually on the crown to determine Androgenetic Alopecia. Also, make sure your biopsy is both horizontally cut for further accuracy. Ask for a sample report from the doctor--make sure they talk about sebaceous glands, telogen and number of miniaturized hairs in the report. Ask the derm where the sample is going and if the person reading the sample specializes alopecia.

    I am glad I got one, and mine turned out to be incredibly accurate, thank God.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh my results took 2 weeks and you can't even see where they took the sample--I had a plastic surgeon stitch me.
     
  4. fleur1979

    fleur1979 Experienced Member

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    I had three done. One after about 8 months of hair loss, but it came back inconclusive. Could be anything or nothing. After a year, the shedding had not slowed down, I had a second biopsy done in my temple area where I was losing the most. Came back as no Androgenetic Alopecia signs, but lots of hair in telogen and catagen phases. Conclusion was TE.
    Last year, I was on my third year of hair loss, and I got a lot of tingling sensations. My derm wanted to do a biobsy again to rule out possible scarring alopecia. She did again two biopsies in different places of my head where the hair loss was very much present. Again it came back as 'just TE' with too many hairs in telogen phase. Again no Androgenetic Alopecia signs.

    I am still not convinced of an underlying Androgenetic Alopecia. I Always wonder how accurate biopsies really are, but I think it depends on the one reading / examing the results.

    I do still have the very small round bald spots of the biopsies, but they are very small. It didn't hurt at all in my case, and results came back in two weeks.
     
  5. mommybetts

    mommybetts Established Member

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    I agree with Wolf. Make sure your iron levels are up before you get one. Now that my iron levels are up, I wonder what a biopsy would look like on me. I had a biopsy done about four months after mine all started. No sign of TE, just came back early Androgenetic Alopecia, however I was shedding shedding is the reason this all started. Now, My hair is starting to look "normal" even though its hard to know what normal is after your view of hair has been distorted from this hair loss hell. I often wonder if my biopsy report came back wrong. My Paternal Grandmother has very thin hair all over, but her health is god awful. Everyone else has good hair. If your results do come back Androgenetic Alopecia, there is treatment and many who are responding well, like me.
     
  6. JenVoy

    JenVoy Established Member

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    I'd be completely shocked if they told me the results were Androgenetic Alopecia. As I do not have any history in my family. All the women (including my 2 sisters, mother grandmothers, Aunts all have a massively thick head of hair) My father is balding, but he's also been on various medications that could potentially cause hair loss, for the past 30 years. I also had a known trigger and had severe hair loss over the course of 5 months which is a good indicator of TE. I just want more validity if it's still going on at the 6 month mark. The last 2 hair wash days have given me hope, as I've only had a small amount of hair coming out during those two days. Today seems to be a bit different, but I hear it will fluctuate for a bit before it levels out. I guess I'll see what happens in a month or 2. Time will tell.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thank you for sharing. That's very interesting that your last biopsies are showing TE, rather than your 1st Androgenetic Alopecia reading. I too wonder how accurate the biopsies truly are. I also wonder if sharing family history, even if 1 person in your family has signs of Androgenetic Alopecia (As my father has hair loss) they'll automatically tell you, you have the same. I'm in Southern California, and have heard positive reviews of a dermatologist located in Santa Monica, Dr. Strick (sp?) I'm now wondering if I should just travel 2-3 hours that direction and see him instead.
     
  7. MeliM

    MeliM Established Member

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    Hi everyone. This post makes me wonder if my biopsy was accurate. I had it 3 years ago about 6 months into my hair loss and the biopsy said androgenetic alopecia with no signs of TE and that I had excess sebum. The dermatologist just told me to use Rogaine and sent me on my way. So being as I was only 27 years old I wanted another opinion so I saw a specialist at UCSF . She said the biopsy was done in a weird spot which was where most people have receding hairlines expecially men so that my hair loss should stop and to just be patient . 6 months later still having hairloss I saw another "specialist" He said the same thing just be patient it should stop . Well 3 months later it hadn't . He then wanted to put me on Spironolactone but I'm scared of the side effects . Also I haven't had kids yet and plan to soon. Anyway here I am almost 4 years later and my hair still keeps coming out all the time everyday all day. Should I have another biopsy done to see if it was inaccurate? Or what do you guys think? I have SD that's something I've been dealing with now for probably a year and I'm sure that's making my hair loss increase :/ I just don't really know how accurate that biopsy was if I could have really been having a TE which one dermatologist said that I was probably having te but the biopsy was done after so that's why they told me just be patient that it should stop. Well its been almost 4 years now and if my hair was falling out from Te it should have showed on the biopsy I would think. Any suggestions ?
     
  8. fleur1979

    fleur1979 Experienced Member

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    My first biobsy was not Androgenetic Alopecia, but was inconclusive. Although the derm did believe it was Androgenetic Alopecia. She pulled my hair on top and said: you have Androgenetic Alopecia. I told her that pulling the back and sides will get the same amount of hair loss. So then she pulled the sides and back, and said: yes, it comes out everywhere, but some women with Androgenetic Alopecia have diffuse hair loss, so you still have Androgenetic Alopecia. (and this derm is specialized in hair!!) Funny thing is that three years later (and two TE biopsies further), her collegue was convincing me that it is no Androgenetic Alopecia, and that she was very wrong and that she was going to tell her that.

    Still, I personally believe it is just all a long waiting game. Androgenetic Alopecia can mimic TE, and TE can mimic Androgenetic Alopecia.
     
  9. JenVoy

    JenVoy Established Member

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    It's awful, we all want to feel some sort of control over what is happening. Which we have zero control over. The scalp biopsy seems to give a sense of control perhaps.

    Next month, January 8th will he 6 months since this began. Every article, study I've read indicates 3-6 months for drug induced hair loss. Yet, I also have a low ferritin. I thought last week I was decreasing in shedding. Today was awful! I pulled out a ton of hair. I realize so many women here have dealt with worse hair loss, some for years. But it's awful. I've lost 50% of my hair in just 5 months. I just want to give up hope. I'm praying the scalp biopsy might give me an ounce of hope.
     

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