What is PRP Therapy?
An innovative technique that was used for the very first time in the 1970s in the field of dentistry is Platelet Rich Plasma. Also called PRP therapy, it is making waves in the sports and beauty arenas. Many known sportspersons and celebrities have talked about how the therapy has helped them recover from their injuries so they can continue to perform up to their potential. Tiger Woods, Rafael Nadal, and Kim Kardashian are only some of the notable personalities that swear by the positives of PRP therapy.
So What is PRP Therapy All About?
In place of chemical medications and invasive techniques, PRP therapy uses a natural serum and is minimally invasive. Medical practitioners derive this serum from every individual patient’s blood and formulate it on the spot. Results gathered from detailed research have shown that it is highly effective in helping patients recover from a host of medical and aesthetic issues. Regulated by the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER), the PRP serum is essentially a concentrated form of growth factors and other healing agents. The body produces these agents naturally to help with the healing of injuries, wounds, and surgical procedures.
How the PRP Serum is Created
A typical session of PRP therapy may not take more than 30 to 45 minutes. And, since it has no side effects or after effects, you won’t need any downtime. Here’s how the PRP preparation process works:
- Doctors harvest around 30 millimeters of your blood from the forearm.
- They place it in a special sterilized test tube that prevents the clotting of the blood.
- The test tubes are placed in a centrifugal device that spins them at high speeds.
- The motion causes the blood to separate into three distinct layers. You can clearly see the red blood cells collected at the bottom. Above that is a straw-colored buffy coat that has a gel-like consistency.
- Doctors use aspiration methods to carefully extract the upper layers.
- These layers are placed back in the centrifugal device for the second round of spinning. The pure form of the PRP serum settles at the bottom while the upper layer of Platelet Poor Plasma (PPP) is separated.
- Doctors add certain compounds to the PRP serum that prevent it from clotting. These FDA-approved additives also enhance its healing properties and reduce any possible discomfort from the procedure.
How PRP Therapy is Administered
While the PRP serum is being developed, doctors prepare for the injection. Here’s what happens:
- If you have opted for PRP therapy for correcting skin issues, they may apply a topical numbing agent to lower discomfort. On the other hand, if you’re taking PRP treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee, the doctor will set up ultrasonic equipment so she can carefully place the plasma in the exact location where it can have the most effective results. Treatments for spine issues may necessitate the use of a fluoroscopy device.
- Depending on the specific issue, the PRP serum is placed carefully in the treatment site. In case of hair loss and skin issues, doctors might inject the serum a millimeter into the skin. But, for knee pain, they may place it below the knee cap.
- The quantity of the PRP serum and additives also depend on the issue.
- After injecting the serum, your doctor will give you a list of do’s and don’ts to follow. These precautions direct you on the pain medications you can safely take and any other prescription drugs you must avoid for a week or so. Your doctor will also instruct you to drink lots of water, have a nutritious diet, and avoid smoking and drinking.
Source: Turkey Hair
How PRP Therapy Works?
Platelets act as the framework on which damaged tissues in the body regenerate. Each time you have an injury, the body floods it with platelets and other healing agents. When you see inflammation, that is a sign that your body is healing. PRP therapy introduces a concentration of growth factors, cytokines, mesenchymal stem cells, and other compounds in the treatment site. Because of their ability to attract both soft and hard tissue forming cells, the PRP serum can assist in the regeneration of tissue. PRP treatment can help athletes after an injury because it has amazing effects in repairing muscle injury, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. Here’s what it does:
- Boosts the production of collagen and causes it to become strong and tough
- Enhances the proliferation of tendon stem cells
- Promotes tenocyte-related gene and protein expression
Why PRP Therapy Works?
Platelets contain storage organelles also called dense and “ɑ” granules. These dense granules carry high energy molecules, calcium, serotonin, and other molecules that help in the transfer of energy between the cells. Together these compounds are responsible for the clotting of blood at an injury site. The “ɑ” granules carry cytokines and growth factors. When introduced and activated at the treatment site, the granules kick start the healing process in three stages:
- Quick creation of new cells needed to repair the injury
- Recreating the damaged tissues
Effects of PRP Therapy
Right after getting the PRP treatment, you can expect to see inflammation in the injection site. You may also experience pain that is easily relieved by simple painkillers like Tylenol. Over the next few days, you’ll notice a gradual improvement in your ability to move freely. Undertaking your daily tasks will become more and more easy in the ensuing 2 to 6 weeks. Many users have talked about how they saw continued healing from 6 to 9 months after the PRP therapy. In case, your doctor feels that you need additional sessions, she might ask you come back in 4 to 6 weeks. Typically, ultrasonic and MRI diagnostic tests show significant tissue repair in the treatment sites.
Benefits of PRP Therapy
PRP therapy can help you with a wide range of medical and aesthetic issues.
- When placed in open wounds, PRP facilitates quick healing
- In open heart surgeries, doctors use PRP to eliminate the need for using transfusions of blood-like components.
- PRP helps to heal acute and severe fractures that typically take too long to heal
- PRP can heal muscular injuries
- In dentistry, it can be used to heal the tissues after tooth implant and root canal procedures
- PRP serum helps lower hair loss and promotes the growth of new hair.
- PRP injections can rejuvenate facial skin and reverse signs of aging. You can also use the treatment to erase various skin flaws. Try PRP injections to remove acne scars, age spots, discolorations, and injury and surgical scars.
- PRP serum placed under the kneecap can provide relief from osteoarthritis.
- PRP therapy can be used to relieve lower back pain and other spine issues.
- In any other kind of surgeries, PRP injections can help speed the healing with minimum possibility of infection.
In the past 10 years, given the fact that PRP therapy is being adopted in high-profile arenas by well-known personalities, researchers are studying the modality in detail. They are discovering more and more uses of the PRP serum and finding better methods to develop and perfect it further.
In Short, Here’s What PRP Therapy is All About
PRP therapy is an autologous treatment that uses the patient’s own tissues to create a wonder serum that helps the body heal and regenerate. The human body produces all the elements it needs to repair tissues and reverse any kind of damage. By isolating these elements into a concentrated form, PRP therapy can speed up the healing in both old and new injuries. New studies have shown that PRP can help patients with infertility, eye problems by healing the cornea and conjunctiva and healing different kinds of wounds with the minimum of scarring. The therapy is still in its infant stages with doctors exploring more applications for it.