Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a natural treatment which reinjects platelets and growth factors into your body, which have been gathered from a sample of your own blood. This produces a healing response in the body to repair and rejuvenate an area.
It has been used safely in many therapeutic areas such as sports medicine, dentistry, orthopedics, sexual rejuvenation and cosmetic medicine. PRP therapy for hair restoration, in both men and woman, is a newer application of the PRP technique and is used to strengthen existing hair follicles and promote hair growth.
Our bodies have a remarkable capacity to heal themselves. Regeneration of new tissue is accomplished by the natural production of stem cells. PRP is in the category of regenerative autologous treatments which involves concentrated platelets, rich in bioactive proteins, which release growth factors to stimulate cellular regeneration and accelerate tissue repair.
The technique makes use of the plasma (the liquid portion) of your blood, separating it from the suspended red blood cells, and injecting the platelets and their associated growth factors to help rejuvenate body tissues. Platelets are an important part of wound healing and tissue repair and this technique makes use of their natural ability to restore tissues.
PRP also contains pluripotent stem cells that have the potential to develop into several different cell types to replace those that may be lacking in number, or function. It also contains Growth Factor Proteins (cytokines) that can stimulate cells to proliferate and repair tissue, blood supply, and rejuvenating tissue structure and function.
PRP has been shown to have overall rejuvenating effects on the skin including improving skin texture, thickness, fine lines and wrinkles, increasing volume via the increased production of collagen and elastin, by diminishing and improving the appearance of scars, and by increasing hair growth at the follicle (on scalp).
To prepare the scalp for PRP therapy, you will be asked to do some things before treatment starts including daily use of nutritional supplement (e.g., Viviscal) and the application of topical minoxidil. Photographs may also be taken by the practitioner for a “before and after” comparison later.
The PRP injection is performed in the office. It should take about 40 – 60 minutes from start to finish. A numbing cream (topical local anesthetic) will be applied to the areas that are going to be injected. A small sample of blood is drawn (similar to a lab test sample) and placed in a centrifuge that spins the blood at high speeds, separating the platelets from the other components. The concentrated platelet-rich component is then injected into specific areas of the scalp to promote and restore hair growth.
The procedure is considered comfortable with a mild pinching or pressure sensation during treatment. There are generally no side effects from PRP treatment injected into the scalp, but you can expect the effects of the numbing cream to last for 30 – 60 minutes after treatment, at which point you may notice mild soreness which can last for 24 hours or so. There may be redness or mild bleeding at the points of injection.
You may drive yourself home after the procedure. Most people can resume normal exercise and activities on the same day.
Results are generally visible at 3 weeks and continue to improve gradually over the next 3 – 6 months. Generally, 3 – 4 initial treatments are advised however, more may be indicated for some individuals. Current data shows results may last 18 – 24 months. Once your results are achieved maintenance treatments may be required to maintain your results.
Contact a Rejuvenation and Aesthetics Specialist
The skilled doctors at the Vantage Urologic Institute are leaders in male rejuvenation and aesthetic services. If you are interested in learning more about your treatment options, please call for a consultation today, (352) 861-2115.