PRP: Efficacy, Safety, and Cost
Did you know that PRP has a long history of use, starting from 1970s mostly for treating a blood condition thrombocytopenia?
It’s also been in use for the maxillofacial surgeries since 80s.
Moreover, it has grown to be used for extensive purposes like healing musculoskeletal injuries as well as for cosmetic procedures mostly facial rejuvenation and regrowing hair in clients with hair loss.
This is a complete guide that looks into the PRP procedure, it’s efficacy, safety as well as cost.
So, let’s start right away!
What is PRP?
PRP is the short form for platelet rich-plasma.
It comprises of a substance that on injecting helps in promoting the process of healing.
What is Plasma?
Plasma is a specific component of your blood which contains special proteins that help in the proper formation of blood clots.
Moreover, it also contains specific proteins that support the growth of your cells.
Isolating plasma from your blood and then concentrating it helps to produce Platelet-rich Plasma.
The main goal of injecting it into the tissues having damage is to help in stimulating the production of new as well as healthy cells.
This promotes the process of healing.
It’s a proven treatment procedure that has been approved by the U.S. Administration.
Moreover, some famous athletes like Rafael Nadal, the tennis star and Tiger Woods have also been known to use these injections for the purpose of healing injuries.
Composition of Plasma
There are four major categories that are used for the preparation of Platelet-rich Plasma.
- Leukocyte-rich (L-PRP)
- Leukocyte reduced (P-PRP; leukocyte reduced or pure Platelet-rich Plasma)
- Pure platelet-rich fibrin
- Leukocyte platelet-rich fibrin
The efficacy of certain growth factors involved in the healing process of various injuries as well as the concentration of these growth factors present in Platelet-rich Plasma are the theoretical basis for the purpose using it in tissue repair.
Moreover, the other cytokines as well as the growth factors present in Platelet-rich Plasma mostly include:
- platelet-derived growth factor
- transforming growth factor beta
- insulin-like growth factor 1
- insulin-like growth factor 2
- Interleukin 8
- keratinocyte growth factor
- connective tissue growth factor
- vascular endothelial growth factor
- fibroblast growth factor
- epidermal growth factor
What is PRP Therapy and its Purpose?
Researchers are trying their level best to make use of PRP injections in the best possible way.
The purpose they mostly serve include:
Doctors mostly inject PRP into the scalp for promoting the growth of hair and for the prevention of hair loss.
As per a study from 2014, Platelt-rich Plasma injections also help to treat androgenic alopecia, the other name for which is pattern baldness.
It’s a three step treatment procedure in which the blood is drawn and processed which is later injected into the scalp.
Platelet-rich Plasma injections often trigger the growth of natural hair as well as help to maintain it increasing the supply of blood to the follicles of hair.
Moreover, it increases the thickness of the hair shaft.
Sometimes, this approach also works better in combination with the other medications as well as the procedures for hair loss.
PRP Facial Rejuvenation
Another name being the vampire facial is also an advanced treatment method for skincare that fastens the healing process of the body.
The name vampire facial being given to it since it involves drawing blood.
As you are pretty much aware, the blood comprises of:
- Red blood cells
- White blood cells
When the platelets in the blood plasma are in a rich concentration, magic happens.
To achieve a certain level of concentration of platelets in the plasma, all the four components of the blood are separated on the basis of density.
Afterwards, the platelets are injected into the plasma excluding the white and red blood cells.
Tendons are thick and tough bands of tissue that help to connect your muscle to the bone.
They usually take long to heal after the injury.
Doctors have also used injections to treat chronic problems of tendons and like Achilles tendonitis, tennis elbow at the jumper’s knee, rotator cuff muscle injury, the ankle or the pain in the patellar tendon.
Other than regenerative medicine platelet-rich plasma can help heal these injuries.
Doctors also use injections for the purpose of treating acute spot injuries like knee sprains or the hamstring muscles.
Sometimes, doctor use injections after the surgical procedures to repair any torn tendon or the ligament.
Doctors also inject Platelet-rich Plasma into the knees of people having osteoarthritis.
A study also found that these injections were more effective than the hyaluronic acid injections for treating osteoarthritis.
PRP Therapy Process
The treatment procedure comprises of three steps.
Most of the PRP therapy requires three treatments that are around 4 to 6 weeks apart.
Furthermore, the treatments for the maintenance are required every 4 to 6 months.
During the first step, the blood is drawn most typically from your arm and then put into a centrifuge.
A centrifuge is a machine that spins in a rapid manner in order to separate fluids having different densities.
After around 10 minutes in the centrifuge, your blood will finally separate into three layers:
- Red blood cells
- Platelet-poor plasma
- Platelet-rich plasma
Afterwards, the platelet-rich plasma PRP is then drawn up with the help of syringe and then injected into the areas of the scalp that need increased growth of hair or on your face.
There are various theoretical as well as scientific basis that help to support its use in the restoration of hair as well the rejuvenation of face.
Generally, there are a few steps for preparing the injections for Platelet-rich Plasma.
However, Platelet-rich Plasma can be injected in different ways.
For example, sometimes a topical solution is applied for numbing lidocaine solution to your scalp before the injection.
You may also have to arrive early to your treatment session for this to be applied.
Moreover, sometimes a local anesthetic is mixed with the it in order to reduce any sort of discomfort.
Furthermore, at times your doctor will be injecting it during the surgical procedure.
During this instance, preparation for the injections would generally involve the several presurgery recommendations for your surgeon.
What to Expect?
Here’s what you can expect from a typical injection process:
- First of all, the healthcare professional will be drawing a sample of your blood. Moreover, the amount of the sample mostly depends on where it will be injected. For example, the amount of blood taken for injecting into the scalp was around 20 mm which is slightly larger than one teaspoon.
- The blood is then placed into a centrifuge. This generally comprises of a machine that spins around in a very fast manner that causes the blood components to separate. The process of separation takes around 15 to 20 minutes.
- A technologist then take the plasma and prepare it for the purpose of injecting into the affected area.
- Doctors will then often be using imaging like ultrasound, to pinpoint the specific areas for injection, such as tendon. Your doctor will then be injecting it into the affected area.
The whole procedure usually takes around one hour.
What is the Cost of PRP?
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, there are a few insurance plans that will provide a reimbursement for the injections.
The cost would mostly be paid out-of-pocket.
However, the cost can also vary from one location to another as well as how we use the injections.
Moreover, some of the other reported costs nationwide include some of the following:
- The Washington Post reports that the knee injections mostly cost somewhere between $500 to $1,200 per treatment.
- ABC News 7 in San Francisco also reports that treatments for hair loss cost $900 per treatment and $2,500 per three treatments.
Moreover, insurance companies consider it as an experimental treatment procedure.
There need to be more scientific research are still needed for concluding the effectiveness of the procedure before it is covered on a wider scale.
What Are The Potential Side Effects of PRP?
Because it mostly involves the process of injecting a substance into your skin, there are certain risks or the potential side effects.
Platelet-rich Plasma is autologous, which means it contains substances that come directly from your own body.
This reduces the risks for an allergic reaction that can occur from injecting other medications, such as cortisone or hyaluronic acid. However, there are risks from the injection itself, including:
- Tissue damage
- Nerve Injuries
- Pain at the site of injection
Moreover, you should also discuss the potential risks with your doctor that may be involved.
What is The Recovery Time for PRP Injections?
When Platelet-rich plasma is injected following injury, your doctor may recommend that you rest the affected area.
However, these recommendations are more related to the injury and less to the injections.
Most people can continue their daily activities following injections.
Because injections are intended to promote healing or growth, you may not notice an immediate difference after receiving the injections.
However, in several weeks or months, you may observe that the area is healing faster or growing more hair than you would have expected if you hadn’t received injections.
So, this pretty much sums all about the PRP treatment, its efficacy, safety as well as the cost.
If you are looking for the finest services for PRP in Sharjah, you can definitely count on us.