PRP therapy: its therapeutic properties
PRP therapy is an injectable procedure in which a patient's platelet-rich plasma is injected into a body part that requires rapid healing, i.e. it is intended to accelerate regeneration and stimulate the growth of the body's own cells. The method is quite innovative, but has already shown positive results in the treatment of sports injuries (torn joint tissue). It is also widely used in cosmetology and trichology.
The idea of the method is not to treat with external action, as it is the case with medications, but to make the own body produce the necessary amount of cells for tissue repair.
In aesthetics, the method is used as part of rejuvenation programs or as monotherapy to restore the elasticity of aging skin. Experience with the enriched blood product shows that PRP therapy, in addition to successfully tightening sagging contours, is also effective in alopecia as a natural hair growth stimulator.
What is PRP therapy?
The procedure of PRP therapy consists of several steps:
" Blood collection. Performed from the ulnar vein of the patient. The volume can range from 15 to 60 ml, depending on the area to be treated and the duration of the treatment.
" The preparation of enriched plasma by centrifugation.
" Injection of the plasma into the injured area (depending on the purpose of treatment, the enriched plasma can be injected into the joint, under the skin or intradermally)
Platelets are essentially fragments of a megakaryocyte (the precursor cell of all form elements). On their surface, platelets contain a large number of so-called growth factors - proteins that stimulate cell synthesis. This is their success in hemostasis (stopping bleeding).
When the concentrated platelets re-enter the body, they begin to actively stimulate the growth of new cells. Fibroblasts and muscle fibers are sensitive to growth factors. Increasing their quantity increases the strength and elasticity of the skin, allows repairing the damaged parts of the muscles, fascia, joint structures, strengthening the hair bulb in the bed.
Since 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 contributes to the restoration of a deep, healthy complexion and helps with acne and furunculosis.
In plastic surgery, this method is used in the postoperative phase to heal surgical wounds, to resorb scars and, in combination with antiseptics, to prevent inflammatory processes.
Platelet-rich plasma is plasma that has a higher than normal platelet concentration. Normal platelet concentration ranges from 150,000/µl to 350,000/µl, with an average of 200,000/µl*. Regardless of how the author applies the technique, platelet-enriched plasma is obtained by centrifugation of blood tubes, resulting in the separation of platelets from whole blood. Immediately before the procedure, blood is drawn from the patient, and the tubes are then placed in a centrifuge and spun at a specific speed. An anticoagulant is added to prevent blood clotting.
* A microliter (µl) is a non-system metric unit of volume divisible by one liter. One liter is equal to one cubic decimeter (dm³), 1000 cubic centimeters (cm³), or 10-³ cubic meters (m³). These are the units in which platelets are measured.
PRP (blood plasma enriched in this way) is administered to the patient.
Is it necessary to perform this treatment?
Whether PRP therapy is necessary for each individual patient must be decided by the physician. Since it is an injectable procedure, it is important to prepare for it, rule out any contraindications, and weigh the benefits against the potential risks. Referral for plasma therapy can only be made by a qualified specialist.
PRP treatment is indicated:
" In sports injuries (sprains/strains of ligaments, muscles, cartilage injuries)
" In the post-operative phase (for rapid healing of sutures and scars, to reduce the risk of infection)
" Burns (promotes rapid epithelialization of the skin, i.e. its regeneration)
" For difficult healing ulcers, weeping eczema
" prosthetics for edentulous jaws - for quick implantation of implants, in complex treatment of gum diseases
" In case of eyelid and cornea damage (subconjunctival injection)
The positive effects of PRP therapy
The use of human blood products dates back to the first half of the 20th century, when two to 10 ml (depending on the regimen) of fresh autologous blood from the ulna was injected intramuscularly to strengthen the immune system and shorten recovery time after major surgery or serious, protracted illness. This treatment was called "autologous blood therapy."
Platelet-rich plasma has now almost completely replaced autologous blood therapy. The procedure has a number of advantages that make it unique:
" The drug contains the body's own proteins, so it does not cause rejection reactions: there are no allergies to the drug, as there are with foreign biologics (e.g., vaccines) or other immune reactions.
" It is available at any time and is equally effective, so therapy can be prolonged if necessary or repeated after a period of time.
" It is the most natural method, because unlike drugs, plasma does not interfere with metabolic processes from the outside, but only stimulates the normal work of the body, reinforcing and accelerating the processes that are already constantly taking place in the body
As a result of the PRP injection, the patient will notice the following
" Pain relief (in case of injuries, after operations)
" Fast healing of implants (dental, cardiac, orthopedic)
" Fast tightening and scarring of ulcers, healing of scars
" Reduction of scars, including post-acne
" Smoothing of the skin: improvement of the color, smoothing of expression lines
" Significant anti-inflammatory effect: disappearance of acne, reduction of comedones
" hair growth in areas with alopecia (baldness)
" Improvement of local skin immunity
A significant advantage of PRP therapy is the autologous character of the product used - the product is not of foreign origin, but is made from the patient's own blood. It is a product of natural origin, with no risk of rejection or allergic reactions.
Despite the good tolerance and mildness of the procedure, there are a number of limitations that make plasmolifting or PRP treatment a potentially dangerous manipulation. Therefore, before starting the therapy, your doctor (cosmetologist, dermatologist or any other specialist who uses this method to treat diseases in his specialty) will order a number of tests
" Number of platelets in the peripheral blood
" diagnosis of acute or disseminated infection
" Exclusion of anemia
" Exclude coagulopathies (imbalances between the coagulation and anticoagulation systems) and other blood disorders
Contraindications to the procedure include:
" Low platelet count
" Sepsis or acute infection
" Low hemoglobin or low red blood cell count (anemia)
" Hemophilia or thrombophilia and other diseases that reduce or increase blood clotting
" Systemic connective tissue diseases (e.g., lupus)
" Cancers (especially blood tumors)
" Benign tumor processes capable of degeneration
"Heparin / citrate intolerance (in rare cases, heparin can trigger allergies)
What does PRP therapy cost?
The price of PRP treatment depends on many factors:
" the qualification of the treating physician and the evaluation of the clinic
" price list of the chosen clinic/practice
" cost of the first visit to the doctor (consultation) - this can be done in an aesthetic clinic or by a recommendation of the doctor in charge in your region
" Cost of tests that can be performed in the same place as the treatment or in the health center in advance
" duration and number of treatments
" goals of the treatment (post-surgical rehabilitation, joint or anti-aging therapy, etc.)
" Area of treatment
" If side effects occur, additional anti-allergic treatment may be prescribed, which will affect the cost.