Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a therapy in which a person's blood is collected and centrifuged to separate concentrated plasma from the whole blood before being injected.
- Researchers have reported several applications of PRP with promising results, which are rapidly growing in terms of usage.
- Although the FDA has certified the equipment used to manufacture PRP and injections, the method is considered experimental and is yet to be approved by the FDA for most purposes.
PRP is not considered a medication because it is derived from one's own blood. As there is no FDA approval yet, doctors perform this treatment only if they feel it is the best treatment option for their patients. PRP treatments may not be reimbursed by insurance.
Although laboratory studies have reported that PRP promotes cell regeneration, experts do not fully comprehend how or why this occurs. Many experts are still puzzled about PRP treatment.
What is PRP therapy?
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is performed to heal or rejuvenate various tissues. Platelets, also known as thrombocytes, are the blood cells responsible for clotting the blood to stop bleeding and promote the healing of injured tissues.
- Platelets contain proteins known as growth factors, which enable them to perform their functions.
- Without platelets, the body cannot go into healing mode, which means it cannot manage inflammation, repair tissues, or produce new skin.
- Moreover, platelets enhance blood flow and increase collagen formation, which are crucial components in the body's healing process.
PRP treatment aims to boost the power of platelets. By collecting and concentrating platelets into a single injection, an injured body region can get up to five times as many growth factors as normal whole blood.
Best of all, the blood comes from your own body, which removes any possibilities of mismatch, infection, pollution, or other issues that lead to rejection.
How is PRP administered?
Because the procedure takes a few minutes, a local anesthetic is given to guarantee the person’s comfort. Traditionally, an anesthetic is administered to the afflicted area and allowed to take effect for about 15 minutes.
PRP therapy begins when 30 mL of blood is collected from the person. A centrifuge separates the PRP from the other components of whole blood. Doctors use ultrasound guidance to inject the concentrated platelets into the damaged region precisely.
Platelets serve as a natural reservoir for growth factors, which are required for tissue healing. Platelet-secreted growth factors promote tissue repair by boosting collagen formation, tendon stem cell proliferation, and tenocyte-related gene and protein expression. These growth factors help increase blood flow and make cartilage firmer and more robust. PRP stimulates tenocytes to multiply rapidly and create collagen for tissue repairs such as tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and muscles.
What are the various applications of PRP?
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy was originally used in open-heart surgery to accelerate wound healing. Maxillofacial surgeons began using PRP therapy to speed up the recovery of bone surgeries, such as jaw restoration. Soon after, sports medicine specialists started using PRP injections to hasten the recovery from sports injuries and the rest of the world took notice.
PRP therapy is used for the following conditions:
- Orthopedists and sports medicine doctors use it to treat bone, tendon, joint, ligament, and muscle problems.
- Dentists use PRP injections to speed up healing and mend soft tissue damage and bones after tooth extractions, implants, or periodontal surgery.
- Surgeons use PRP therapy to accelerate wound healing and minimize infection rates.
- Plastic surgeons have long used PRP to accelerate the healing process after cosmetic surgery, but some use PRP injections to increase connective tissue development in the face to smooth out wrinkles and restore skin tone.
- Dermatologists use PRP in conjunction with the drugs minoxidil or finasteride to treat hair loss in men and women. Platelet growth factors increase hair follicle development, and medicines control the effects of testosterone on the hair follicle. PRP therapy can be used to treat various skin ailments and make the skin look younger.
- Ophthalmologists administer PRP eye drops directly on the eye surface to treat corneal ulcers and injuries caused by dry eyes. Tear production can be increased by applying PRP eye drops directly to the tear glands.
- Otolaryngologists use PRP injections to treat the loss of hearing and smell.
- Some urologists administer PRP injections to people who have erectile dysfunction.
- Gynecological applications of PRP have increased in the past few years. Direct application of PRP on the surgical site relieves pain and promotes wound healing. PRP therapy treats vulvar dystrophy, refractory endometrium, ovarian failure, and more.
Are there any side effects of PRP therapy?
Because the treatment involves the use of one's own blood, it is usually regarded as a low-risk procedure. However, you may experience specific side effects including:
- Your Child Is Sick. Do You Call Your Doctor or Head to the ER?
- Mental Health Care Shortage Could Play Role in U.S. Youth Suicides
- Shopping Black Friday for TVs, Furniture? Don't Forget the Tip-Over Kit
- Keeping Thanksgiving Day Kitchens Safe for the Whole Family
- All the Flavor, Better Health: Holiday Dinner Ingredient Swaps That Work
- More Health News »
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections: What to Know: https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/platelet-rich-plasma-injections
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections: https://www.hss.edu/condition-list_prp-injections.asp
Cosmetic Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy: https://www.wakehealth.edu/treatment/p/platelet-rich-plasma-therapy-cosmetic
Top Does PRP Therapy Really Work Related Articles
Hearing LossHearing loss (deafness) may be present at birth or it may manifest later in life. Deafness may be genetic or due to damage from noise. Treatment of deafness depends upon its cause. Sensorineural hearing loss can be caused by conditions affecting the cochlea, eighth cranial nerve, spinal cord, or brain. Examples of conditions that can lead to sensorineural hearing loss include Meniere's disease, noise-induced hearing loss, hearing loss of aging (presbycusis), nerve injury from syphilis, hearing loss of unknown cause (idiopathic hearing loss), nerve tumors, and drug toxicity (such as aspirin and aminoglycosides).
Detecting Hearing Loss in ChildrenThere are many degrees of hearing, from normal hearing to deafness. Many states mandate the testing of newborns before leaving the hospital. The risk factors for hearing loss in children include
- a family history of hearing loss,
- frequent ear infections,
- diagnosis of a learning disability,
- syndromes associated with hearing loss,
- speech delay, and
- infectious diseases that cause hearing loss.
- the child not responding to his or her name,
- the child asking for words to be repeated, and
- the child not paying attention to what is being said.
Does Your Heart Rate Increase When Healing From Surgery?After surgery, your heart rate may increase. The condition is called postoperative tachycardia, in which heart rates are higher than 100 beats per minute.
Erectile Dysfunction (ED, Impotence)Erectile dysfunction (ED, impotence) is the failure to achieve or maintain an erection. There are many potential underlying causes of erectile dysfunction, including stress and emotional problems, brain dysfunction, problems with blood supply to the penis, and structural problems with the penis.
Hair Loss (Alopecia) In Men and In WomenThere are many causes of scalp hair loss. This featured article covers the common ones such as patchy hair loss (alopecia areata, trichotillomania, and tinea capitis), telogen effluvium, and androgenetic alopecia (male-pattern baldness, female-pattern baldness).
Hair Loss: Alopecia, Thinning Hair in Men and WomenLearn about hair loss (alopecia) in women and men. Discover hair loss causes and treatments like shampoos and drugs, as well as how to prevent hair loss.
Hair Loss QuizTrue or false: Genetic hair loss comes from the mother's side of the family. Take the Hair Loss Quiz to learn about your hair. Learn what damages hair and what doesn't. Take the quiz!
Hearing Loss: Causes of Hearing LossProblems with your ears like ear infections can cause signs of hearing loss. This may be sensorineural hearing loss or conductive hearing loss. Learn how loud noises can induce hearing loss, the signs of hearing loss, and different ways you can prevent hearing problems.
Hearing Losss QuizCan hearing loss be reversed? Take this quiz to find out!
How Can I Stop My Hair Loss?While treating hair loss depends on what is causing it, there are things you can do to stop more hair loss and protect the hair you do have. Here are 12 tips to stop hair loss.
Impotence QuizDid you know that certain medical condition may be responsible for ED? Some causes of impotence are medically treatable and reversible. Learn more about what can be done about erectile dysfunction with the Impotence Quiz.
Impotence SlideshowHaving erection problems? What is erectile dysfunction (ED)? Learn about erectile dysfunction causes and treatments such as drugs (pills), pumps, and more.
Is Low Platelet Count Serious?A low platelet count can be serious in severe cases, potentially causing dangerous internal bleeding. Learn about the causes, symptoms, types, and treatment of low platelet count or thrombocytopenia. Check out the center below for more medical references on blood disorders, including multimedia (slideshows, images, and quizzes), related diseases, treatment, diagnosis, medications, and prevention or wellness.
What Are the 10 Most Common Sports Injuries?What to know about the 10 most common sports injuries. Learn more about how to prevent injuries while playing sports.
Thrombocytopenia (Low Platelet Count)
Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) refers to a decreased number of platelets in the blood. Symptoms of thrombocytopenia include:
- Increased bruising
- Spontaneous bleeding
- Small, purple spots under the skin called purpura
There are many causes of thrombocytopenia such as decreased platelet production (viral infections for example rubella, mumps, chickenpox, hepatitis C, and HIV); increased platelet destruction or consumption (for example sulfonamide antibiotics, heparin, blood transfusions, and lupus); or increased splenic sequestration (enlarged spleen due to conditions, for example, liver disease, blood cancers, and more). Treatment of thrombocytopenia depends on the cause.
What Are the 10 Common Types of Sports Injuries?Sports injuries are those that occur when participating in sports or exercising. Learn the ten most common types of sports injuries, as well as their causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention.
What Are the 10 Most Common Sports Injuries?Whether you are a professional athlete or simply playing sports for fun, there is always a chance you could get injured. Here are 10 of the most common sports injuries.