WHAT IS PLATELET RICH PLASMA (PRP) ?
Platelets, along with White and Red Blood Cells, are a primary component of whole blood. When a tissue insult occurs in the body, the platelet is the first cell to reach the area. At this point the platelet raises the alarm by secreting several growth factors that increase the action of cells in the area to promote new tissue formation and increased blood flow. Over the last several years much research has been done on the beneficial effects of blood with a very concentrated number of platelets. This “Platelet Rich Plasma” has supranormal amounts of these powerful growth factors which can stimulate tissue remodeling and new tissue formation. Currently, PRP is being used in orthopedics to stimulate cartilage and bone growth, in urology to help regenerate bladder tissue, and in plastic surgery/dermatology to improve skin healing, improve wrinkles, treat acne scarring, and to even regrow hair.
WHO WOULD BENEFIT FROM PLATELET RICH PLASMA (PRP)?
The therapeutic potential of platelet rich plasma is so wide that likely all people would benefit in some way from PRP. However, we will focus on Plastic Surgery/Dermatology appications. Firstly, PRP is being added on to many facial resurfacing procedures to improve skin quality by stimulating collagen and elastin production. It has proven particularly useful in conjunction with microneedling procedures, which provide puncture holes for the PRP to penetrate the outer layers of skin. We provide the most advanced Infini microneedling system on the market to enhance this delivery. Secondly, PRP is being injected, sometimes with fat, to improve areas of pigmentation like dark circles under the eyes. Thirdly, PRP along with Infini microneedling has proven to be the gold standard for acne scarring. Lastly, PRP in conjunction with roller needling and minoxidil has shown very beneficial effects treating alopecia (hair loss). A testament to the success of PRP treatment is the very high patient approval rating of 90% on RealSelf.
HOW DOES PLATELET RICH PLASMA TREATMENT WORK?
-First, our registered nurse or Dr. Graham draws your own blood in standard fashion, which includes red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. This blood is collected in a series of test tubes.
Blood Centrifuge Phase I
-Next, the tubes containing the blood are then spun at high speeds in a centrifuge. This spinning separates the platelet containing plasma from the other blood cells. The yellow-colored platelet containing plasma is then separated and placed into a separate tube. The red-colored component containing red blood cells and white blood cells is then discarded. At this point some novice practitioners would apply the remaining plasma as platelet rich plasma. However, at this stage it is not yet concentrated enough to stimulate new tissue growth.
Blood Centrifuge Phase II
-This stage is critical to obtaining Platelet Rich Plasma. After the first centrifuge you are left with a combination of “platelet rich” and ” platelet poor” plasma. A second cycle of spinning is then performed. The second centrifuge cycle further concentrates the plasma to ensure that you are obtaining the “platelet rich plasma” at the bottom of the tube. Again, it is critical to obtain a very concentrated plasma (1,000,000 platelets per mL), which is the only concentration shown to stimulate blood flow and tissue growth.
The Platelet Rich Plasma is collected in syringes and then either injected or applied topically to the target tissues. It takes around 10 minutes for the platelets to release their growth factors, so treatment time should be at least 10 minutes to 1 hour.
WHERE IS THE PROCEDURE PERFORMED?
Platelet Rich Plasma Procedure is typically performed as an in office procedure, but can be perfomed during surgery as well. In our office we most often perform the procedure in conjunction with the advanced Infini microneedling procedure. However, we also perform PRP injections and can apply it topically for hair loss.
WHAT IS THE AVERAGE RECOVERY AFTER PLATELET RICH PLASMA TREATMENT?
Average PRP recovery time is 1-3 days, although make up can be applied after 24 hours. You can drive immediately as long as sedation was not used during your procedure. You can return to work in 48-72 hours.
HOW MUCH DOES PLATELET RICH PLASMA COST?
The national average price for Platelet Rich Plasma Treatment is $2500-5000 dollars. As every patient has different needs, the price can vary for each patient. You can see Dr. Graham’s pricing here.