April 2019 - Northwest Weight & Wellness Center
425.224.8200 info@nwwls.com
425.224.8200 info@nwwls.com
Staff Spotlight: Krystal Rubio

Staff Spotlight: Krystal Rubio

Name: Krystal Rubio

Role: Surgical Technologist

Joined NWWC: September 2018

Personal Life: Krystal grew up in Arizona. Her mother lives in Arizona and her father (pictured with Krystal) and older sister live in Colorado. Krystal has 2 sphynx cats; Zephyr lives with her currently and Dolf lives in Arizona.

Life before NWWC: Krystal graduated from her surgical technology program in 2013 in Arizona. She worked at a surgical practice in Vancouver, WA, that specialized in sports medicine but also had podiatry, hand, general surgery and neurology cases. Her first healthcare job was providing care for a woman who was bedbound with terminal cancer. She has also worked as a sterilization tech, a chiropractic assistant, and in customer service roles in retail and a salon.

A Day in her Job: Krystal spends her days in the operating room. She ensures the room is set up properly with the correct equipment and supplies for the types of surgical cases on the schedule. This may be bariatric, plastic, or general surgeries such as hernia repair and gallbladder removal. During surgery, she keeps the instruments organized and provides the surgeon with the instruments they need for each step of the procedure. She maintains the sterile field, meaning she protects the sterilized instruments and equipment from being contaminated by any potential source throughout the entire procedure. At the end of surgery, she is responsible for the final equipment count to ensure that nothing has been lost. She organizes the clean & dirty equipment to get ready for the next case.

What Else to Know about Krystal:

  • Her favorite part of her job is learning the specific nuances of each surgeon. “They all do it a little bit differently and it all makes sense when you understand why they do it that way.” She enjoys getting into a rhythm with the surgeon so she can anticipate their needs and have an instrument ready before they even ask for it. “They look surprised!”
  • She enjoys working with reconstructive procedures, such as an abdominoplasty where excess skin is removed from the abdomen. “You know that’s going to make a huge difference in the patient’s life. They’re going to feel so much better.”
  • She knew she wanted to become a surgical tech at age 18. Her father underwent a colon resection due to colon cancer which partially inspired her career choice. She really enjoyed her surgical tech program and is grateful to her excellent instructors for a strong education, including in sterilization techniques.
  •  When she’s not in the operating room, you’ll find her on the water. She owns a paddleboard and is planning to buy a kayak. 
Hair Shedding After Weight Loss

Hair Shedding After Weight Loss

“How can I prevent hair loss?” It’s a question we hear frequently from people preparing for bariatric surgery. Hair shedding is an unpleasant side effect that affects some people more than others after surgery. There are some things you can do to manage it but it’s not completely preventable for everyone.

Telogen Effluvium  (Stress-related Hair Shedding)

Most people who experience hair shedding will notice it in the first 3 to 6 months after surgery. It’s called telogen effluvium. It’s a form of temporary hair shedding that happens after stress or traumatic events. In this case, the stress is rapid weight loss.

The hair growth cycle has three phases:

  • Anagen (growing; lasts 3 to 5 years)
  • Catagen (transition; lasts 10 days)
  • Telogen (shedding; hair follicle is inactive for 3 months after hair sheds)

Normally, only 5 to 10% of your hair is in the telogen phase at any given time. However, in a state of stress, about 30% of your hair moves into the telogen phase so you will notice more shedding than normal. You might notice this when washing or brushing your hair or when you see hair in the drain or on your pillow.

The hair shedding you experience in the first 3 to 6 months after surgery will start resolving when your body feels less stressed by the weight loss. Your hair will get back into its normal cycle. You can prevent further damage to your hair by avoiding chemical or heat treatments during this time.

Nutrition-related Hair Shedding

Nutrition is also important for hair growth. We suspect that a nutrition deficiency is causing your hair shedding if it:

  • gets worse when you are more than 6 months out from surgery.
  • starts when you are more than 6 months out from surgery and isn’t connected to other major stressors in your life.
  • continues past 1 year after surgery.

Protein, zinc, iron, and biotin are the most important nutrients for hair growth. If you are taking a complete bariatric multivitamin, it will already contain the zinc, iron, and biotin in the recommended amounts:

  • Zinc 20 to 25 mg
  • Iron 18 to 45 mg (depends on type of surgery, menstruation status, history of anemia)
  • Biotin 300 to 600 mcg

Taking megadoses of biotin beyond your bariatric multivitamin will not prevent hair shedding. It can actually alter your thyroid lab values so we don’t recommend going overboard on biotin.

For protein, we recommend 60 to 75 grams protein daily for women and 75 to 90 grams daily for men after surgery. This comes from your food and beverage choices, including protein shakes. Using a food tracking app can help you determine whether you are meeting your protein needs consistently.

Other Causes of Hair Shedding and Loss

For most people who have hair shedding after bariatric surgery, it will be related to weight loss or nutrition. There are other causes of hair shedding, such as hormone changes related to pregnancy or menopause and other types of stress, such as divorce or unemployment.

Hair loss is different from hair shedding. With hair loss, the hair doesn’t grow back. Hair loss can be caused by genetic factors, medications, immune system overreaction, and harsh hair treatments. If you think you are having hair loss, you should talk with your doctor.