What is PRP?
PRP stands for ‘Platelet-Rich Plasma’, also known as plasmotherapy and autologous conditioned plasma. As the name suggests, the method is based on the production of platelet-rich plasma from the patient’s own blood. It is further injected in the injured tissue contributing for its regeneration and healing.
Platelets are blood cells, which contain biologically active substances called growth factors. When a tissue is injured in our body, platelets are sent to the affected area, and being accumulated there, they initiate the healing process. The PRP method allows for twice to 4 times more platelets in the target area. Thus, the use of this method results in much faster and more effective regeneration of the injured tissue.
How is plasma derived?
8 to 16 ml blood (1-2 test tubes) are taken from the patient and are transferred in a special device, a centrifuge. During centrifugation a special serum is formed, which is injected in the injured tissue.
- Plasma is produced from patient’s fresh blood in sterile conditions with no contact with the air.
- Platelets must remain intact (damaged platelets are not regenerative).
- Plasma is then purified from blood components, which may slow down the tissue regeneration process (e.g. from white blood cells).
- Plasma needs to be used immediately after being derived.
How is PRP applied?
- The administration of NSAIDs and analgesics must be suspended. Furthermore, the administration of blood thinners, such as aspirin must be suspended at least 3 days before the PRP procedure.
- The medication is often administered through injection (from 1 to 3 injections) at 2-4-week intervals for 6 months (locally in the problematic area). As PRP triggers the autotherapy mechanism of the body, results are not permanent.
- A mild pain or bluish discoloration may occur in the treated area. These problems disappear in a few days, but you should follow the recommendations of the doctor.
Fields of PRP application
The healing properties of platelets have been known since ancient times. It was not until 40 years ago when platelets began to be applied for the healing of wounds, which take a long time to heal. The method is largely used in dentistry, orthopedics, and reconstructive surgery, ophthalmology, cardiovascular surgery, gynecology and urology.