What is PRP?
Platelet Rich Plasma therapy (PRP) is a medical procedure which uses your cells to attempt to achieve specific therapeutic results. PRP is thought to work by producing growth of new tissue from the stimulation of stem cells. To accomplish this, the platelets used in PRP are treated with calcium chloride (which tricks the cells into thinking that they are in the body and the body has been injured). The platelets release growth factors into the platelet rich fibrin matrix liquid (PRFM). The liquid PRFM is injected into specific areas using a needle. Common uses of PRP are to treat hair loss, improve healing from certain facial esthetic procedures, and treatment of certain joint problems such as osteoarthritis and tendonitis. The results of this treatment may last at least one to two years, but results will vary. Many patients experience improvement after 6-8 weeks, with continued changes for 4-6 months. For maximal benefit two subsequent treatments should be performed 6-8 weeks apart with a follow up treatment at 6-12 months.
What can PRP do for me?
PRP may improve certain types of chronic pain, specifically joint pain related to chronic wear and tear. These diagnoses may include arthritis, tendonitis, and pain related to old injuries. PRP in these diagnoses, when used in a timely manner, has been shown to improve range of motion, decrease pain, and prevent surgery through stimulation of your own growth factors and stem cells.
PRP may also be helpful when used following certain esthetic procedures. Once you have had procedures such as chemical peels, CO2 laser facial treatments, microneedling, radio frequency ablation, and other related treatments, PRP will help increase blood flow to areas treated. This blood flow rushes platelet derived growth factors and stem cells to the injured areas which improves healing and decreases recovery time, therefore improving the desired collagen formation.
PRP has also been shown to reverse hair loss in certain patients. Injection of PRP into the scalp in areas of thinning hair, increases blood flow through formation of new blood vessels to the hair follicles. This results in new hair growth and increased thickness in areas where hair growth has entered the telogen phase, (ie. Stalled hair growth). Studies have shown significant success in patients who catch this loss of hair earlier rather than later.
In all above therapeutic indications, results are improved with at least 3 treatments. Research with PRP has been done and is currently ongoing to evaluate the effectiveness of PRP treatment. At this time the results of these studies are inconclusive. PRP effectiveness can vary.
What are the risks of PRP therapy?
The risks of PRP therapy are similar to other injectable therapies. Pain at injection site, bleeding, infection, and allergic reaction related to anesthetics which may be used. The greatest benefit of PRP therapy is that we use your own cells and your response to those cells to promote a reversal of the disease process. This is typically anti-infective and requires little to no down time. You are unable to take certain medications during the healing process which takes about two weeks. Your provider will discuss this with you at your consultation.
*Currently available at our Southlake location.