Information on PRP treatment (platelet-rich plasma)

Overview of the PRP treatment

Platelet-derived plasma (PRP) therapy is a treatment in which a patient's blood is processed, components related to tissue regeneration are extracted and administered to the diseased area to support the "repair power of the patient's own body" and lead to improvement. Because it uses the patient's own blood, it can be used without serious side effects.

PRP plasma and platelets have been found to contain components that stimulate and promote tissue repair, and the association between concentrated administration of these components and early healing of localised areas and reduction of pain has been statistically demonstrated. However, the mechanism of action has not been scientifically proven in detail and is still the subject of research.

Platelets play an important role in tissue repair.

Concentrated PRP can accelerate the healing process at the injection site.

The plasma then releases growth factors that stimulate the regenerative cells to complete their work more quickly, accelerating the healing process.

The area where the injection is injected forces the body's own restorative system to work, increasing blood flow to the area, cell growth and tissue regeneration PRP treatment allows the body to heal as it should, but at a faster rate.

What is the course of a PRP treatment?

PRP-Behandlung Verlauf

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Das PRP-Verfahren besteht aus mehreren Schritten:

  • Blood collection from the patient with special PRP tubes. It is performed from the ulnar vein, the volume can range from 20 to 100 ml, depending on the treated body region and the duration of the treatment.
  • Production of enriched plasma. Red blood cells are separated from the plasma by centrifugation. This is done as follows: Platelet-rich plasma is prepared from the patient's autologous whole blood by plasmapheresis using a special centrifuge. The separation principle is based on centrifugal force. In this way, each blood component is separated based on its different specific gravity and can then be collected separately. This is called plasma exchange.
  • Injection of the plasma into the injured area (depending on the therapy goal, the enriched plasma can be injected into the joint, under the skin or intradermally). 
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Platelets are essentially fragments of a megakaryocyte (the precursor cell of all form elements) and contain on their surface a large number of the so-called growth factors - proteins that stimulate cell synthesis. This is their success in haemostasis (stopping bleeding).

When they re-enter the body, the concentrated platelets begin to actively stimulate the growth of new cells. Fibroblasts and muscle fibres are sensitive to growth factors. Increasing their quantity increases the strength and elasticity of the skin, enables the restoration of damaged parts of the muscles, fasciae and joint structures, the strengthening of the hair bulb in the bed.

As the growth factor contributes to the strengthening and growth of blood vessels, PRP therapy improves blood circulation in tissues, resulting in better metabolism, including gases, which allows you to return a fading skin rich, healthy complexion to cope with acne and furunculosis.

In plastic surgery, this method is used in the post-operative phase for healing surgical wounds, resorption of scars, in combination with antiseptics to prevent inflammatory processes.

Which areas can be treated with PRP?

Bereiche der PRP-Behandlung

PRP treatment for sports-related diseases

PRP-Behandlung bei Sportmedizin

When the regenerative capacity of the tissue itself is exceeded and the repeated mechanical stress on the tissue accumulates, the tissue can "degenerate" and the environment can be difficult to heal. By stimulating the cells of these damaged tissues, PRP aims to bring them closer in a more normal environment and improve their function.

On weekends, tendon and muscle injuries are not uncommon in professional athletes. PRP treatment for these injuries is progressing rapidly.

Sports medicine patients need more effective and less invasive solutions for all types of musculoskeletal systems.

In this regard, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a promising treatment for various musculoskeletal injuries such as arthritis, tendon and ligament tears and injuries.

PRP treatment has been used for more than a decade and has gained recognition through media coverage of its use in high profile injured athletes. These athletes are said to include: Tiger Woods, Rafael Nadal, Kobe Bryant, Alex Rodriguez and Jermaine Defoe. Its use in elite sports activities waxing and waning.

PRP treatments are being considered for soft tissue injuries traditionally known to have poor healing properties (e.g. tendon and ligament injuries).

Some studies have confirmed good results.

PRP is not usually considered particularly dangerous because no materials other than the patient's own (autologous) blood are involved in the injection. For this reason, it is very attractive to patients who need a more "herbal approach" to treating their accidents. It is also often considered as an alternative for patients who have tried various other remedies unsuccessfully for their long-standing accidents but want to avoid surgery.

Injuries that can be treated with PRP:

  • Tennis elbow (common extensor tendon condition).
  • golfer's arm (common flexor tendon disease)
  • early osteoarthritis
  • chronic muscle injuries (e.g. fractures of the calf and sole of the foot)
  • Chronic ligament injuries (knee, ankle and elbow joint)
  • Cartilage damage (joint cartilage damage covering all joints)

A series of injections is usually required. Ultrasound guidance is used to ensure accuracy and that the injection reaches the intended target site.

The injection is performed under strictly aseptic conditions to minimise the risk of infection.

As a rough guide, there is an interval of a few weeks between injections to allow the tissue to heal. The number of injections required depends on the particular circumstances and needs.

PRP treatment for arthritis

PRP-Behandlung bei Knieschmerzen

Arthritis is a group of diseases that cause joint pain such as swelling, stiffness and limited mobility.

Osteoarthritis is the most common disease, affecting millions of people worldwide.

Over time, the rubber cushions that protect the ends of bones with cartilage gradually wear away, especially in the arms, knees, hips and back. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your immune system accidentally attacks certain parts of the body. It affects the lining of the joint and causes uncomfortable swelling.

Symptoms include joint pain, stiffness (usually worse in the morning and after inactivity), as well as fatigue, fever and loss of appetite. Joint symptoms on both sides of the body are usually the same.

Osteoarthritis of the knee is mainly caused by ageing of the articular cartilage, obesity and predisposition (gene), trauma such as fracture, ligament and meniscus injury and suppurative arthritis.

PRP modulates the inflammatory and catabolic environment through a locally applied concentrate of platelets, leukocytes and growth factors.

This suggests that PRP treatment has an anti-inflammatory effect and transforms a toxic joint, breaking down cartilage (catabolic - i.e. eroding or degrading) into a healing joint environment by introducing healing cells and growth factors into the damaged joint, repairing the lesions and tears in the cartilage. It also inspires the building of new cartilage.

The aim of PRP treatment is to treat underlying problems, not just mask painful symptoms.

PRP treatment works mainly to balance tissue repair at the molecular level and aims to relieve pain and stop the progression of deformity beyond the current level.

PRP treatment for hair loss and hair transplantation

PRP-Behandlung bei Haarausfall

PRP therapy is becoming a popular adjunct to hair transplants. PRP can help accelerate the growth of transplanted hair roots while thickening existing hair.

Recent studies have shown that applying PRP to the scalp can help combat androgenic alopecia (male pattern hair loss). Complex baldness problems may require PRP treatments once a month for four to six months.

For all patients with hair loss, consistent treatment with PRP treatment produces optimal results.

PRP contains many growth factors that can stimulate hair follicle growth by increasing blood circulation and providing important nutrients.

PRP is injected into the scalp. This process not only promotes hair growth, but also strengthens the hair follicles.

People with thinning hair and people with androgenetic alopecia (hair loss on the scalp and hairline, especially hair loss along the temples, also called male pattern baldness) as well as women with male pattern baldness can benefit from these PRP treatments. 

PRP treatment in aesthetics

PRP-Behandlung in der Ästhetik

Foto von karelys Ruiz

In recent years, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has emerged as a promising autologous biological therapy for aesthetics and regenerative medicine.

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is an autologous serum containing excessive concentrations of platelets and growth factors. PRP treatment in dermatology is an important treatment method, especially in the areas of hair restoration, pore and skin rejuvenation, pimple scars, skin augmentation and striae distensae.

In addition, the combination of PRP treatment with laser therapies, microneedling, dermal fillers and autologous fat grafting leads to synergistic effects, especially for advanced aesthetic results. Future research needs to standardise PRP treatment protocols for individual indications. PRP therapy is a promising method in dermatology whose fields of application are constantly expanding.

The PRP procedure can be performed on the face, neck, arms and the entire body. The effect is outstanding: the skin becomes plumper and younger, fine lines and wrinkles are reduced and the contours of the skin are reshaped - for a youthful glow. The upper and lower eye area can be successfully treated. Fine lines and wrinkles. Ageing and sagging skin. 

PRP treatment has proven to be a promising, safe and efficient cosmetic procedure. 

PRP treatment for eye problems

PRP-Behandlung bei Augenproblemen

Foto von Noelle Otto von Pexels

PRP treatment can help with various eye conditions.

By using PRP eye drops, ophthalmologists can help sufferers overcome their eye condition.

  • The growth factors in PRP repair the surface of the cornea and the membrane that covers it.
  • PRP treatment speeds up the healing of corneal injuries with a smaller amount of scarring so that vision is clearer after treatment is complete.
  • By using PRP, doctors can help reduce infection and pain.
  • PRP can counteract the dangerous consequences of dry eye syndrome.
  • The PRP serum acts as a lubricant to keep the eyes moist as it nourishes and heals.
  • After LASIK surgery, PRP eye drops can speed healing and help prevent infections.

PRP treatment for back pain

PRP-Behandlung bei Rückenschmerzen

Foto von Kindel Media von pexels

People with chronic back pain can also receive PRP treatment to get relief. PRP works on the injured tissues, muscles and organs to minimise inflammation. Research has shown that PRP treatment helps relieve pain from the roots, providing a long-term solution to back pain.

Lower back pain is one of the most common complaints for both men and women, and the bad news is that as we age, lower back pain becomes more serious.

There can be many causes of lower back pain, but much lower back pain is related to the problem of the flabby discs that separate each pair of bones in the spine.

In fact, it is the herniated disc that causes sciatica that is one of the most common types of lower back pain.

Injections have been used for many years to reduce the inflammation of spondylolisthesis or herniated disc in the lower back.

Until recently, these injections also included steroids or other medications to reduce pain and swelling.

Recently, researchers have begun to explore natural alternatives to these drugs, including platelet-rich plasma or PRP.

PRP comes from your own blood and does not carry the same risks as steroids and other medications. Although steroid injections can relieve the symptoms of back pain, PRP injections can mainly relieve pain symptoms. This is how back pain is treated with PRP treatment.

PRP treatment in gynaecology

PRP-Behandlung in der Gynäkologie

When PRP is administered to the mucosa of the cervix and vagina, it can be used as a stimulator of the regeneration process.

PRP treatment can stimulate capillary growth, normalise blood supply, metabolism and nutrition of the tissue, thereby accelerating tissue regeneration.

PRP treatment can help repair mucous membranes. And to eliminate inflammation and dryness associated with cervicitis, lichen sclerosis (SC) and eczema. LS affects the vulva and causes extensive scarring, which can also cause progressive itching, dyspareunia and genital bleeding. It has a major impact on the quality of life of sufferers, interfering with physical activity, sexual pleasure and causing emotional and psychological problems.

PRP can restore film shrinkage and eliminate dryness. Platelets have been found to release about 35 growth factors that promote tissue growth, healing and regeneration. Cosmetic gynaecologists use it to perform surgeries such as vaginal rejuvenation.

The use of PRPin cosmetic gynaecology is considered a new revolutionary non-surgical outpatient PRP treatment that can help improve urinary incontinence and sexual dysfunction through the use of female-specific growth factors.

Cosmetic experts use PRP to help regenerate the inner wall of the vagina, muscles and skin.

After injecting PRP, the vaginal blood vessels dilate, resulting in a significant increase in sensitivity. In addition, the ligaments and muscles that support the urethra are strengthened, easing urinary incontinence.

When other therapies are used simultaneously in the multi-step method, significant clinical effects can be achieved.

Although individual women's experiences may vary, many patients report benefits from PRP treatment

  • Greater arousal through stimulation of the clitoris
  • Younger, smoother skin on the vulva
  • A narrower vaginal opening
  • Stronger orgasm
  • Increased sexual desire
  • Increased ability to have a vaginal orgasm
  • Less pain from dyspareunia
  • Increased natural lubrication
  • Reduced or resolved urinary incontinence

PRP treatment in urology

PRP-Behandlung in der Urologie

PRP is used to improve sexual performance in men. Age, the use of certain medications and various health conditions can disrupt men's reproductive system, reducing performance and decreasing sexual desire.

PRP treatment also helps restore normal sexual function in men with prostate problems and other problems related to sexual activity.

It's not just the skin that looks more radiant and youthful. Men's and women's emotions have increased, providing more pleasure and satisfaction.

Most men report these improvements after PRP treatment:

  • Increases erection firmness
  • Increases blood flow and circulation
  • Improved sexual ability
  • Increase sexual stamina
  • Increases sensation and pleasure
  • Improves appearance
  • Improves or resolves prostate discomfort
  • Improves or resolves urinary incontinence

When it comes to improving potency, PRP has many benefits. This procedure not only provides more stamina and a stronger feeling, but also increases libido and reduces pain and discomfort.

The appearance of the genitals is rejuvenated and the tissues become softer, harder and more elastic. Women who use PRP can experience the benefits of improving their G-spot for a better orgasm.

Men who suffer from erectile dysfunction (potency problems) can also use PRP therapy to improve their sexual performance and get longer erections. The risk of incontinence is also greatly reduced, giving both men and women better control of their bodies.

PRP treatment provides energetic gifts that enable a person to fully satisfy their partner and guarantee their own happiness. Both parties can reap these benefits so that they can enjoy all aspects of sex life.

Is PRP treatment safe?

prp behandlung

Foto von Myriam Zilles

One of the biggest advantages of PRP therapy is the safety it offers. Unlike many other therapies, PRP treatment uses your own blood. 

No foreign bodies can enter your body during this treatment. For this reason, you do not have to worry about any side effects from the treatment. 

PRP treatment is very safe, so it is often used as a post-operative treatment. Since PRP treatment is a minimally invasive procedure, you do not have to worry about incisions and stitches. 

PRP treatment is only performed in the form of injections: First, blood is drawn, and second, the PRP is injected into the area to be treated.

This greatly reduces the risk of infection. Not to mention that, unlike surgery, you do not have any pain associated with tissue trauma. 

You also do not have to stay in hospital for this treatment, but can have it done during your regular doctor's appointment. 

After the treatment is finished, you can go about your daily business.

You may feel some pain, but this is only temporary. This means that you do not have to worry about staying in hospital.

Guidelines before PRP treatment

PRP-Behandlung Richtlinien
  • Discontinue anti-inflammatory medications at least three to four days before the procedure
  • Discontinue any blood-thinning herbs, supplements or vitamins one to two weeks before the procedure
  • Discontinue systematic steroids one to two weeks before the procedure
  • Discontinue steroid injections at least one month before your procedure
  • Eat a hearty, healthy breakfast and drink plenty of water on the day of your procedure.
  • Please note that if you are taking chronic oral steroids, a discontinuation plan must be discussed with your GP as sudden discontinuation can cause side effects.

Precautions after PRP treatment in orthopaedics

PRP-Behandlung Vorsichtsmaßnahmen

After your PRP therapy session, we recommend that all patients rest on the day of their procedure. For the next 2 days we recommend limited use of the injection area, but exercise is recommended. 

After your treatment, there is a possibility that you may experience mild to moderate pain or discomfort at the injection site. This is normal and a sign that your body is healing as it adjusts to the injection. It is best to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water to promote healing.

It is important that you do NOT take any medication after your procedure unless a doctor specifically instructs you otherwise. This is because any medication may affect the healing process or other adverse effects.

Therefore, discontinue the use of any of these medications after your procedure for best results:

  • Anti-inflammatory medication for at least 2 weeks after the procedure
  • Blood-thinning herbs, supplements or vitamins for 3-4 days after surgery
  • Systemic steroids for 2 weeks after the procedure
  • Other important guidelines to follow after your PRP procedure are:
  • Avoid applying ice or heat to the injection site for the first 72 hours after the procedure
  • Do not take a hot bath or go to the sauna for the first few days after your procedure
  • Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages for the first week after the procedure
  • Avoid showering in the first 24 hours after the procedure
  • Limit caffeine intake in the first week after the procedure
  • Avoid smoking

Precautions after PRP facial treatments

PRP-Behandlung in Dermatologie

Some redness and swelling is normal, but it is recommended to take a few days off from strenuous tasks.

You can resume your daily exercise immediately after the procedure. However, if you were exposed to pollutants or hazardous chemical compounds and fumes during the procedure, you will need to take a few days off.

Typically, swimming pool water contains dangerous chemical compounds, so you should stay away from that as well.

Sauna visits and steam baths can expose your pores and skin to excessive warmth, which your physician can also warn you about. When you shower, choose warm water for a few days.

Make sure you use sunscreen for at least three days if you go outside at any point during the day.

Your dermatologist may ask you not to wash your face for four to 24 hours after the procedure. It's high quality that you don't disturb your pores and skin whereas the restore is taking place. If you really need to wash your pores and skin, use a mild, natural remedy and pat dry. Avoid rubbing or pulling.

It is especially recommended to use PRP cream after a PRP facial. Use PRP serum cream to rehabilitate the skin after aggressive cosmetic treatments: Laser therapy, photo rejuvenation, peeling and other invasive procedures. The application of serum accelerates the healing processes in the skin, promotes microcirculation and skin respiration. 

As one of the precautions after PRP injection, your treating physician may additionally discuss postponing other facial treatments or procedures that you may have covered up. These include ablative lasers, peels or other strategies that contain harsh chemical compounds and excessive rubbing.

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Precautions after PRP hair treatment

As with all PRP treatments, your trichologist will ask you to stay away from anti-inflammatory medications. Swelling is a nice effect of the method and will probably persist for two to three days. Additionally, you may notice a slight redness or numbness inside the scalp.

  • Avoid rubbing or pressing the scalp for a few days.
  • You can shampoo your hair properly tomorrow or 12 hours after the method.
  • Limit sun exposure for a few days. Wear a hat if you should go out throughout the day.
  • Do not restrict exercise or physically strenuous activities now.
  • Refrain from using harsh chemicals on the scalp for at least seventy-two hours after the method.
  • If you normally use Minoxidil 82M or another topical hair restorer, you may continue treatment after consulting your doctor.

Take appropriate precautions after injecting PRP to achieve the best results.

PRP therapy is a safe and effective therapy that can help you solve various medical and cosmetic problems. For best results, it is recommended that you follow your doctor's instructions. If necessary, you should repeat the examination and treatment. A little attention can help your body recover.

Are there any side effects with PRP treatment?

PRP-Behandlung Nebenwirkungen

Because PRP involves injecting substances directly from the blood, the risk of infection and rejection is minimal. However, there are risks associated with the injection itself, such as pain at the injection site, nerve damage and tissue damage. Find out about the potential risks and how he/she can minimise them. Because PRP injection stimulates natural healing, it may take a while before you notice the difference.

PRP therapy is not a cure-all. Side effects may occur, and some are important. These are the most common.

Pain at the injection site.

Some people who receive PRP therapy have severe pain at the injection site. Sometimes this pain is also felt deep in the muscles or bone area.

Infection

Although great precautions have been taken when administering PRP serum to patients, strict sterilisation procedures should be followed for each treatment. Sometimes infection can occur in the injured area.

There is no improvement in the injured area.

Although this is not necessarily a side effect, we must point out that not all athletes respond to PRP injections. (Of course, this particular type of sports medicine is being further researched so that we can understand exactly why). Sometimes, even after a long break after PRP treatment, the initial pain and soreness caused by the injury persists (it even gets worse).

Allergic reactions

In some patients, the body rejects its own serum and reacts negatively to the treatment. This situation is rare, but it does happen. Again, more research is needed to understand why.

Damage to the inner wall of blood vessels, such as cuts.

By using a needle (guided by ultrasound) to inject PRP, it is possible to damage arteries or veins. When this happens, a blood clot forms and is treated like a normal blood clot.

Skin discolouration

After the PRP injection, there is sometimes discolouration of the skin. This can be normal depending on the person who has suffered bruising in the past. See a doctor as soon as possible.

If any of the above side effects occur after PRP injection, please contact your doctor as soon as possible.

Advantages of PRP treatment

PRP treatment has many benefits that make it a good choice for people with pain anywhere on the body. 

These are just some of the many benefits that PRP treatment offers. 

Chronic or unresponsive problems, such as injuries that cannot be healed normally over time. Platelet-rich plasma can actually reactivate the body's natural healing system here, kick-starting the healing process at a huge cost. 

For people suffering from endless chronic pain, PRP therapy can potentially kick-start the stalled recovery process.

One of the best things about PRP treatment is the very limited side effects. Because it is derived from the patient's own blood, it is unlikely to cause a negative reaction when it is returned to the body. 

In addition, the recovery time is usually short, allowing patients to return to their normal lifestyle more quickly. PRP treatment is non-invasive. It involves either drawing blood from the patient or injecting platelet-rich plasma into the affected area. Healing is much faster and the risk of infection or complications is limited. 

Scars can add character, but they can also be a painful reminder of the surgery and are usually unattractive. For the rest of the surgery, the incision or suture will need to be removed later. PRP therapy is a great option for any body as there are no scars left from surgery, incisions or stitches to remove later. Imagine the benefits PRP treatment offers for cosmetic reasons such as hair loss or promoting collagen growth.

Is a PRP treatment painful?

PRP-Behandlung schmerzhaft

Photo by Usman Yousaf on Unsplash

In general, PRP injections are painless. This may vary depending on the patient or the area of the body being injected. Your doctor may recommend that you use a local anaesthetic to control these symptoms. A general anaesthetic is not usually used with. 

How often does a PRP treatment have to be carried out?

This largely depends on the specific circumstances in which you are being treated. Some patients experienced significant improvement with just a single PRP treatment. However, between two and six treatments for a single condition are not uncommon.

PRP treatment begins with a consultation and includes the following: During the consultation you will be asked many questions about your condition, symptoms, general health and treatment options you have tried in the past.

This will help your doctor determine if PRP treatment is right for you.

In addition, your answers to these questions can give you a rough idea of how many PRP treatments may be needed.

What does a PRP treatment cost?

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The price of PRP therapy will consist of many factors:

  • The qualifications of the doctor performing the manipulations and the ranking of the clinic
  • The price list of the selected clinic / practice
  • The cost of a preliminary (consultative) doctor's visit
  • The cost of tests that can be done at the same place where the therapy is performed or in advance at the local clinic
  • The duration and frequency of PRP treatments
  • Course objectives (post-operative recovery, joint treatment or anti-ageing therapy, etc.)
  • Work area

Is PRP treatment right for you?

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PRP treatment can be used to treat a variety of conditions. This means that there is an excellent chance that you can benefit from this therapy.

For most people, PRP therapy can replace surgery and is a popular and effective alternative. This process can be performed in your doctor's office and usually takes less than an hour. However, depending on the severity of the injury, multiple injections may be required.

Although PRP is a safe, non-invasive treatment option for most people, it may not be suitable for everyone.

Be sure to inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:

cancer that has not cleared for at least 5 years

other cancers or blood-borne diseases

persistent infections caused by taking coumarin or other blood thinners

cerebral palsy or Parkinson's disease

There are other conditions that may affect your doctor's decision about whether to continue PRP treatment. For example, in more severe cases of osteoarthritis or if diagnostic imaging has shown clear signs of structural damage, PRP treatment is generally not recommended in such cases.

As always, you should be as open and honest as possible when discussing PRP with your doctor.

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