Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
Recently, a lot has been said about platelet rich plasma preparations. Many patients are opting for PRP instead of surgeries and medications because of its effectiveness in treatment of different problems such as chronic tendon injuries, sprained knees, inflammatory conditions and prevention of hair loss.
What is it?
A platelet rich plasma injection is a small amount of plasma that delivers a high concentration of platelets and growth factors, speeding up the healing process. It contains a high concentration of platelets, much higher than in the normal blood. It is prepared through blood centrifugation. As opposed to an allograft, protein rich plasma is autologous in nature because it is injected into the same person it was obtained from.
Platelets contain growth factors which are essential for the natural healing process. Since platelet rich plasma contains up to 5-10 times concentration of platelets found in the normal blood, the growth factors concentrations are also higher. The higher concentrations of growth factors make it effective in management of different conditions by promoting the natural healing process.
Effectiveness in Management of Various Conditions
Because of its ability to improve the healing process, platelet rich plasma is effective in management of various conditions as discussed here.
• Hair Restoration
Platelet rich plasma has proven effective in management of androgenetic hair loss both in men and women. This effectiveness is explained by the growth factors it delivers. Each growth factor interacts with a receptor found in a stem cell. This interaction promotes hair growth by activating the proliferative phase of the hair. This makes platelet rich plasma a potential treatment of hair loss caused by androgenetic alopecia.
• Skin Rejuvenation and Aesthetics
Activated platelet rich plasma also promotes skin rejuvenation by delivering various growth factors including platelet derived growth factor (PDGF), transforming growth factor (TGF) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). The growth factors stimulate proliferation of dermal fibroblasts a process that promotes damaged and old skin tissue remodeling and rejuvenation by activating a given stem cell. Therefore, platelet rich plasma is an effective adjuvant treatment to lasers used in cosmetic dermatology, skin rejuvenation and treatment of wrinkles.
• Orthopedic Pain
Management of joint, bone, associated muscles and soft tissues damage has been carried out with platelet rich plasma. Orthopedic pain is mainly characterized by progressive occurrence of cartilage damage, formation of osteophytes and sub-chondral sclerosis. Platelets contain a good number of cytokines and growth factors especially when in higher concentrations. These promote cellular growth, proliferation, vascular growth, tissue regeneration and synthesis of collagen.
Since platelet rich plasma delivers higher concentrations of cytokines and growth factors, it provides beneficial effects on regeneration of tendon and cartilage promoting effective management of orthopedic pain and injuries. Some studies have also shown that platelet rich plasma has anti-inflammatory and reparative effects on the cartilages, tendons and ligaments hence further promotes effective management of orthopedic pain.
• Sexual Wellness Both in Male & Female
Naturally, cytokines and growth factors promote the optimal functioning of the body cells and tissues. When platelet rich plasma is used for sexual wellness in men and women, it boosts libido, heightens sexual pleasure, gives greater sexual stamina, gives it a more youthful feel and reduces the incidences of urinary incontinence and pain during sex.
This is possible because of the cytokines and growth factors delivered by platelet rich plasma. In women, the injection is given around the pelvic area while in men is given in different areas of the penis using an anesthetic cream to avoid possible discomforts.
A few steps are involved in preparation of platelet rich plasma. In the first step, a sample of your blood is drawn using a syringe with the amount being determined by the site it will be injected. The blood is then placed in centrifuge which separates the components within 15 minutes. The separated plasma is then collected prepared for injection. Using the appropriate imaging technology, a doctor will pinpoint the specific area for injection then inject the appropriate amount. The whole process takes less than one hour. There are no surgeries or medications in this procedure. The cytokines and growth factors delivered promote natural healing and target inflammation.
After treatment with PRP, a patient will be put on rest. A physical therapy follows for orthopedic disorders. After 6 to 12 weeks, a re-evaluation is carried out to determine the progress. Majority of the patients are able to return to their normal activities within three months. In some cases, more than one treatment may be needed for effectiveness to be realized.
There are numerous benefits associated with platelet rich plasma treatment. The downtime is minimal because the procedure takes less than one hour and recovery is within three months. Unlike in an allograft, no tissue is obtained from another person hence contraindications and side effects are minimal.
Our team at Southlake Physical Medicine will be glad to assist you with in any PRP procedures. To schedule an appointment, contact us at 817-898-7400 today.