Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, is a substance that has been used since the 1900’s but has just recently made major headlines! It is used in multiple specialities to promote healing. Plasma is a natural component of your blood that contains proteins, nutrients, electrolytes and hormones! It contains all the factors needed to support healing and cell growth. We have been able to produce PRP by isolating plasma from blood and concentrating it. So yes, we use YOUR own blood!
The idea is that injecting PRP into damaged tissues will stimulate your body to grow new, healthy cells and promote healing. Because the tissue growth factors are more concentrated in the injected area, we think the body’s tissues may heal faster!
The treatment hasn’t been definitively proven. It also hasn’t been approved as a treatment by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. However, famous athletes like Tiger Woods and tennis star Rafael Nadal have been known to use these injections to help heal injuries.
In my orthopedic office, I commonly do ultrasound guided injections to any damaged joint. But PRP injections are also commonly used in dermatology offices! PRP can treat anything from fine lines, sun damage, deep wrinkles, acne scars and hair loss!
We draw 15mL of blood from the antecubital vein- the vein inside of elbow. Once the blood is drawn, we use a centrifuge to spin the blood.. The speed allows the red blood cells and the plasma to separate nicely in the tube. From the original 15mL about 5mL will specifically by the plasma portion. We draw that up in a sterile syringe and inject it where it needs to go! Most patients respond very well because it isn’t a foreign fluid entering your body. It’s your own blood! 😃
Email me if you have any questions about how these work!
Thanks for reading!