PRP, or “Platelet-Rich Plasma,” is a revolutionary new treatment for chronic sports and musculoskeletal injuries that has become very popular with professional athletes.
In the past few years the use of PRP for facial rejuvenation has become known as “the vampire face lift”. This treatment uses a component of your own blood to reverse some of the many skin changes that occur with aging.
We also use stem cells in combination with PRP in some treatments to further promote healing.
How Does PRP work?
Platelets are a specialized type of blood cells commonly associated with blood clotting. Blood is made up of 93% red cells (RBCs), 6% platelets, 1% white blood cells (WBCs), and plasma.
After an injury, platelets are involved in clotting, so we stop bleeding. But after this initial job is done, platelets are very involved in wound healing. Human platelets are naturally extremely rich in connective tissue growth factors. They release these factors to: first clean the wound, then bring new blood vessels and stem cells into the area, stimulating their organized growth, they also stimulate our skin cells to divide and “cover” the wound. Injecting these growth factors into damaged ligaments, tendons, and joints stimulates a natural repair process. But in order to benefit from these natural healing proteins, the platelets must first be concentrated. In other words, PRP recreates and stimulates the body’s natural healing process.
How is PRP Prepared?
This preparation is done in our office. Blood is drawn from the patient (just like getting a blood test) and placed in a special centrifuge. The centrifuge separates the red cells, and the remaining platelets and plasma are then highly concentrated. The red blood cells are discarded, and the resulting platelet concentrate is used for treatment.
This process takes approximately 16 minutes. The resulting PRP solution is then mixed with Calcium Chloride to “activate” the Platelets and make them release the “Growth Factors”. The resulting gel type solution is then injected into those areas requiring treatment.
What Should You Expect
The PRP gel will initially “voluminize” the area, decreasing wrinkles, plumping the cheek areas, filling depressions under the eyes. But it is the rejuvenating effect cause by the growth factors that will slowly cause the long term improvements. The skin will gradually look thicker, firmer, with increased moisture. Deep creases will soften and fine wrinkles will disappear. Brown/age spots will become less evident.
Can We Further Increase Facial Volume Lost With Aging?
According with the patient needs, additional volume to the face can be added at the time of the PRP procedure by using facial fillers. This technique has been call by some “vampire facelift” a new technique using the patient’s own fat with adipose tissue derived stem cells, allows for larger fill, when fat loss is significant.
Benefits Of PRP
- PRP uses the patient’s own blood, so allergic reactions or rejection are non existent.
- Duration on improvement of deeper wrinkles last 12-24 months, but the benefit on fine wrinkles can last up to 3 years. Procedure may need to be repeated after a year depending on the initial skin aging.
- Simple procedure that allows patient to return to work/social activities within 24 hrs.
- Major side effects are mild swelling for 24-48 hours and possible bruising.
Cost can be much less that some laser treatments or fillers.