What is Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy?
Blood consists of plasma and other small components, such as red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Platelets main job is to clot blood, but they also contain “growth factors,” which are high numbers of proteins essential for healing and restoration. Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) is plasma with a higher concentration of platelets than the kind of plasma in the bloodstream; the platelet concentration in PRP is as high as five to 10 times that of plasma in the bloodstream.
How Is PRP Made?
Specialists use the patient’s blood to create PRP. A process called centrifugation separates the platelets from the blood. The high concentration of platelets is added back into the blood.
While many specialists use PRP to help patients heal and restore their bodies, research remains ongoing. The results of some studies have been inconclusive because results vary among individuals. In general, however, studies show that blood with a high concentration of platelets has great potential when it comes to hastening the healing process.
PRP Uses in Therapy
PRP Therapy can be used to restore or heal:
- Hair loss
- Orthopedic injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
Factors that influence PRP effectiveness include, but are not limited to:
- The patient’s health condition
- The part of the body being treated
- The nature of the injury — acute or chronic
Treatment specialists introduce PRP to the body in two ways:
- Injection: The treatment specialist injects PRP blended with a local anesthetic in the affected area. The patient may experience pain that lasts for a week or two, and may not feel the positive effects of PRP for a few weeks.
- Surgical procedure: In cases where patients require surgery to repair damage. PRP is added to the surgical opening prior to stitching to hasten healing and repair.