You’ve probably heard a lot of PRP and its universal application causing its bigger popularity among patients in clinics.
Let’s review the function, purposes, and benefits of platelet-rich plasma (PRP).
A PRP injection is when PRP, or platelet-rich plasma, is administered to the body via injection. PRP is a natural way to stimulate healing in the body. It has a localized effect, meaning it must be delivered to the area that has been injured or is experiencing chronic pain.
The key ingredient that makes PRP so effective is the platelets. Platelets play several important roles in your body. Most notably, they encourage new cells to grow while removing old, damaged cells from the site of an injury.
PRP lets take control of your body’s healing processes, accelerating them and getting you back on your feet faster.
What is platelet-rich plasma?
As its name implies, platelet-rich plasma is a volume of plasma with a high concentration of platelets. To produce PRP, all we do is extract a small amount of blood from a vein in your arm. From there, we spin it in a centrifuge, separating each component.
The machine then siphons off the platelets and some plasma. The process is repeated until the concentration of platelets reaches the target amount. This may vary from treatment to treatment. The whole production process takes about 15 minutes.
Is PRP safe?
PRP treatment is quite possibly the safest form of intervention available. First of all, PRP is autologous, meaning it comes from your own body. There’s no need for donor material and the risks associated with receiving donated blood.
Secondly, when you compare PRP to surgical procedures, the outcomes are generally in favor of PRP. Granted, there are some cases that PRP cannot treat, such as severe ligament tears that require surgery. However, for milder issues, PRP reduces recovery time without the complications of surgery.
Best of all, it’s a great cure for chronic pain. Opioids and other pain relievers can have disastrous side effects. PRP, on the other hand, is entirely natural and encourages your body to heal you from within.
PRP has been in use for over 50 years. It was first used to help patients recover from open-heart surgery. However, it quickly spread to other areas once its restorative properties became clear.
By the 80s and 90s, PRP had made it into sports medicine. Numerous pro athletes receive PRP treatments to recover faster from injuries.
In the last decade, a large number of FDA-approved PRP treatments have emerged. Many of these are cosmetic treatments, using PRP as an anti-aging agent. It’s been used on everything from burn victims to ulcers to sprained ankles.
What conditions does PRP treat?
PRP plays a major role in our injection protocols. This provides an alternative to surgical approaches and leads to longer-lasting results.
PRP for Joints
If you have osteoarthritis — the gradual wearing down of your joint bones’ protective cartilage — or rheumatoid arthritis — in which your immune system attacks healthy tissues in your joints — you’ve probably relied on drugs to manage your pain so you can get through your day. But if you don’t like the idea of taking medications long-term and you’re worried about the side effects, PRP is there for you.
Platelets are plate-shaped cell fragments filled with growth factors. When you’re injured, your body naturally rushes blood to the site of injury, which is why you notice swelling after you’ve been cut or bruised. The platelets in your blood coagulate to prevent blood loss and start the healing process by triggering your body to rebuild tissue.
We super-concentrate these healing platelets by mixing them back into just a small amount of your plasma. The resulting serum has up to 10 times the amount of platelets as non-concentrated blood.
Whether you rolled an ankle playing basketball or took a bad tackle to the knee, a PRP injection can work wonders for your joints and ligaments. Joints in particular are known for taking a while to heal. There is generally less blood flow to the nooks and crannies of your joints, which slows healing.
By injecting PRP into the joint, we can promote the healing of individual ligaments and generally improve the range of motion and comfort of the entire joint.
If you’ve had a partial or even complete muscle tear, PRP therapy can reduce your recovery time and even promote stronger muscle fibers as the injury heals. Whether you were hurt lifting weights or from a hyperextension playing sports, your outcome can be vastly improved with PRP.
Recent studies have boldly claimed that PRP should be the first line of defense against arthritis of all types. Osteoarthritis, the most common form, has remained troublesome to treat. There is no cure for arthritis, and most treatments are palliative in nature.
PRP may very well change that. Rheumatoid arthritis is another area of study currently, with early research showing that PRP can actually undo or halt the degenerative damage from arthritis.
This is due to PRP’s ability to trigger the production of new cells. Your body will replace aging cells with new ones, literally restoring the area to a better condition. While consistent treatment is recommended for arthritis, patients report improvement with each session.
Damaged tendons can be difficult to treat due to their hypovascular nature. This means they don’t get very much blood flow. The typical advice is to simply rest, but for some people that just isn’t an option.
Using a PRP injection, we can get closer and encourage the body to heal the tendon directly. Thousands of athletes of all ages have received PRP treatment for tendonitis, and the results are consistently positive.
PRP for Skin
When the experts in our office do PRP facials, many of our clients have tons of questions before the procedure begins. They’ve heard lots of rumors, facts, myths, and sometimes misleading information about these new, skin-rejuvenation facials. The best way to deal with all the misinformation out there is to provide you with the cold facts about PRP (platelet-rich plasma) facials.
It’s always a good idea to educate yourself about any treatment you are considering, and learn about its advantages, disadvantages, costs, and other pertinent information.
What are PRP facials?
The basic process begins with a technician drawing whole blood and then using a centrifuge to separate out the red cells. The remaining platelet-rich plasma is what’s used in the facial process.
A PRP facial uses your own blood platelets and plasma on your face. The natural chemicals in your own PRP are slathered onto your face and then micro-needled into the skin during a short procedure. Once the plasma is in, it begins to do its work of rejuvenating your entire face, tightening wrinkled areas, and smoothing the overall look. It’s able to do that because PRP’s essential chemical components stimulate collagen growth.
Some people opt to have just one facial while others undergo a regular series of procedures. The more often you have a PRP facial, the longer the results of each treatment will last, which is about three to six months.
What are the key advantages of PRP facials and why are they so popular?
- They truly transform the look of your skin in positive ways;
- There’s no chance for an allergic reaction because the plasma comes from your own body;
- Pain and discomfort are minimal and the procedure is short.
What is a treatment like?
Many of our clients know that a PRP facial can make them look healthier, younger, and generally wonderful in a short amount of time, but often have concerns about the procedure itself. Our team members will briefly explain to you what’s going to happen. Here’s a quick outline:
A small sample of your blood is placed in a centrifuge to isolate plasma and platelets from red cells. The red cells are not used in the procedure. This protein-rich plasma is what helps stimulate collagen production when infused into the skin of your face.
We use a topical cream to numb your skin about 20 minutes prior to treatment.
A first infusion is done with hyaluronic acid and/or phyto-boost to make sure the skin is fully hydrated and free of pigmentation.
The plasma is spread all over your face before the next step of the process.
The medical technician uses a micro-needling device on your forehead, cheeks, and other parts of your face to make sure the protein-rich substance is able to travel deep into the skin.
Micro-needing itself helps to stimulate collagen growth, so when used alongside an infusion of PRP, you’re getting a double effect of collagen-boosting.
When it’s over, you might notice a bit of superficial pain on your face and minor bruising from the micro-needling technique.
For deep lines and other troublesome areas of the facial skin, a doctor might use fillers or Botox to handle volume-deficient skin and small wrinkles.
What are the typical results of PRP facials?
Results take a while to show up, especially after the very first facial you get. But most patients notice a generalized tightening of the skin within a few days, a glow and fullness to the entire face, and just an overall healthier look.
Results can last several months. That’s why many people choose to have PRP facials a few times per year to maintain the results for anti-aging purposes. Initially, it’s best to have about 4-6 treatments at two-week intervals to deal with scarring, skin damage, and problem areas.
What are the key advantages of a PRP facial?
Patients have noticed many benefits from this treatment. Not only does it help the body create new elastin and collagen but it can virtually do away with wrinkles, acne scars, lines, stretch marks, and other types of scars. Plus, a PRP facial can deliver pronounced effects with better skin texture and tone.
PRP facial experts at our clinic use a micro-needling device that enables them to perform the entire procedure with minimal pain and in a short period of time. The device essentially “stamps” the skin with very tiny needles. This unique treatment causes the body’s natural processes to go into effect. Skin begins to produce more collagen and elastin in response to the needling.
Simultaneously, the body also responds to the platelet-rich plasma and works with it to create additional collagen and elastin.
PRP for Hair
The following steps are an example of a common approach to PRP injections for hair loss:
- A medical professional draws blood from a vein in the arm.
- They place the blood sample in a centrifuge.
- The centrifuge spins the blood, separating its components.
- A medical professional extracts the platelets using a syringe.
- A doctor injects the platelets into targeted areas of the scalp.
The entire process may take about 1 hour, and several sessions may be necessary. After receiving PRP treatment, a person can usually return to their regular activities without any limitations.
Certain changes to the diet and daily routine may help promote hair growth or prevent hair loss.
How long does it last?
PRP is not a cure for conditions that cause hair loss. For this reason, a person would need to receive multiple PRP treatments over time to maintain hair growth results.
The doctor’s recommendations for how often a person should have PRP will vary depending on a patient’s condition and the results of their initial treatment. The doctor may suggest having maintenance injections every 3–6 months once hair loss is under control.
Possible side effects include mild pain at the injection site, itching, and scalp tenderness. As the PRP solution consists of a person’s own blood components, there are no risks of a reaction to the solution itself.
However, people undergoing PRP treatments for hair loss may experience the following side effects:
Researchers have found evidence that PRP can lead to renewed hair growth.
At present, anyone with mild-to-moderate hair loss who is interested in PRP should ask a doctor whether they are likely to benefit from the treatment.
Is it effective?
In 2019, a team of researchers carried out a systematic review of the research on PRP as a treatment for hair loss. Their findings appear in the journal Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
The analysis ultimately focused on 11 research papers that included a total of 262 participants with androgenetic alopecia. According to the authors, most of the studies found that injections of PRP reduced hair loss and increased the diameter of hairs and the density of hair growth.
Another 2019 systematic review, which was featured in Dermatologic Surgery, examined the findings of 19 studies investigating PRP as a treatment for hair loss. These studies recruited 460 people in total. According to the authors of the review, most studies reported that PRP treatments led to hair regrowth in those with androgenetic alopecia and alopecia areata.
The authors of an additional review of clinical studies, which the International Journal of Women’s Dermatology published, considered PRP to be a “promising” treatment for hair loss, based on their findings.
The team noted that because various researchers and clinics use different preparations, session intervals, and injection techniques to administer PRP, its effects can vary.
PRP for Women
PRP for women is a non-surgical treatment that pledges to increase sexual arousal and rejuvenate the vagina. Patients report stronger and more frequent orgasms, increased natural lubrication, and greater arousal after having the procedure.
Is the PRP shot a drug?
The PRP shot is not a drug. It’s a procedure performed in a medical office in which your own blood platelets are injected into vaginal tissue. The theory proposed by the inventor, Dr. Charles Runels, is that platelets naturally attract your own stem cells to the injected area, and generate healthier and more functional tissue in the areas of sexual response in the vagina (G-Spot, O-Spot, Skene’s Glands, urethra, and vaginal wall).
How does the PRP shot cause vaginal rejuvenation?
The shot works by using high-quality platelet-rich plasma (PRP) produced from the patient’s own blood. The PRP contains cell regenerating growth factors which, when injected into specific areas of the vagina, trigger stem cells to increase blood flow and generate healthy tissue growth, as well as help, improve the vascularization of the area.
What is the procedure like?
The PRP shot procedure begins with a simple blood draw from the arm. This sample is then put into a special centrifuge to produce the platelet-rich plasma. Once the PRP is extracted from the blood, it is injected into the numbed area near the clitoris and upper vagina.
Does the PRP shot injection hurt? How long does the procedure take?
Getting the PRP shot is usually painless. We numb the area with a gentle, cream-based product. Although every patient’s experience is different, most experience only minor discomfort. The injection feels like a slight pinch or warm sensation. There is no recovery time with this non-surgical procedure. It is quick and generally takes about 30 minutes to complete, including the numbing process.
Are there PRP shot complications?
Most patients experience minimal to no side effects after receiving the injection. However, you may experience mild redness, swelling, and/or numbness for the first few days to one week.
Do I need more than one PRP shot?
Patients can just have one PRP shot or come back for more, which will build on the existing results. 8 weeks is generally recommended between treatments to ensure the full effects of the first treatment have been felt. However, you can speak with a medical provider about the timeframe that works best for you.
What results can I expect?
The results can vary depending on the patient’s starting point. For example, factors such as age, medical conditions, and hormonal problems can determine the results. The injection is not a “magic stick” – 50 percent of women may experience instantaneous “wow effects” while the other half may just notice a marked improvement.
Patients have reported a range of positive effects from the shots including:
- increased sensation;
- greater arousal from clitoral stimulation;
- the ability to have an orgasm from penetrative sex when previously unable;
- younger and smoother skin of the vulva;
- stronger and more frequent orgasms;
- improvement in urinary incontinence;
- decreased pain for those experiencing painful sex;
- increased natural lubrication;
- increased ability to have a vaginal orgasm.
How long does it take before I see results from a PRP shot?
You may experience an increase in sexual desire and pleasure immediately, but full results are usually enjoyed after 3 months. Generally, women will begin to experience heightened sensation in the first 3-7 days and new tissue will begin to develop over the next 3-9 weeks. This will peak around the 3-month mark.
How long does the PRP shot last?
PRP shot procedure results can vary depending on the patient, but they generally last between 14 and 18 months. On average, women repeat the procedure every 18 months.
PRP for Men
The PRP injection for men is a safe, natural, non-surgical procedure that incorporates the harvesting and injection of one’s own plasma enriched growth factors or PRP into specific areas of the penis to treat erectile dysfunction.
It is an advanced treatment option based on the very same principles and precision injection techniques that pain management specialists utilize to help both professional and amateur athletes rebound from damaged joints, ligaments, and tendons.
How does the PRP injection work?
The PRP injection procedure begins with a localized numbing agent applied to the penis. While the numbing agent takes effect, a physician will draw a small volume of blood from your arm and place it in a centrifuge device that spins down the blood to separate the platelets and growth factors from the rest of the blood components.
The result is highly concentrated platelet-rich plasma (PRP) that is then carefully injected into the shaft & into the head of the penis. Once injected, these blood-derived growth factors ignite the body’s unique tissue renewal process resulting in the type of firmer more reliable erections you experienced in your younger years. There is no recovery time and the results are almost immediate in some men. Full results appear in 2-3 months.
What should you expect from PRP treatment?
The first step of the process is to separate platelets and plasma from your whole blood using the process we described above. Once this has been completed, we will draw the PRP into a syringe and prepare the site for injection.
We encourage a healthy diet in the days leading up to the treatment as this will ensure that your plasma is of top quality. Your body replenishes its plasma roughly every three days, so you should try to eat clean for that period prior to the treatment.
Depending on the nature of the problem, we may administer PRP to several sites with small injections. For deeper injections, we can provide a shot of an anesthetic first to make the process more comfortable. Overall, you should be in and out in less than an hour!
PRP treatments can produce results very quickly, but some cases may require multiple treatments. Especially when dealing with chronic problems, repeat visits are necessary. Regardless, we’ll always book a follow-up appointment to make sure that your injection is having the desired effects, and we can evaluate if further treatment is necessary.
For now, you can feel free to book an online consultation using the button above and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.