illustration of blood plasma in laboratory tubes

Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP) is a method that uses a person’s own blood plasma and cells to help with the healing process during or after some type of medical procedure. This method of therapy was thought of as far back as the 1970s and was actually invented initially to treat the condition known as thrombocytopenia. This is the disorder in which a person, for some reason or another, does not have enough blood platelets causing a risk of hemorrhage.

Overview

There are many benefits to PRP therapy—one of which is that a person’s own tissues are being used. This means that there is no chance of rejection because the immune system is not provoked in any way. Here’s a quick summary of what PRP therapy is, how it works, and how it’s being applied today.

  • PRP Therapy is a concentrated form of blood plasma (the liquid part) that contains several beneficial growth hormones.
  • The compounds in Platelet-Rich Plasma have been shown to help rapidly increase angiogenesis and tissue healing.
  • PRP is being used to treat sports-related injuries as well as certain other types of injury as well. Additionally, certain types of cosmetic procedures such as hair-transplant surgery utilize PRP therapy for shortened recovery times.

PRP Therapy Basics

To understand PRP you need to have some idea of what blood consists of. Blood is a connective tissue of the body that consists of a lot of fluid, cells, and various molecules. The fluid part is the plasma which makes up more than half the volume of your blood.

This plasma carries important substances around the body including such substances as hormones, proteins and sugar molecules. The cells that are in the blood include red blood cells (erythrocytes) which transport oxygen, and white blood cells (leukocytes) which are part of the immune system.

PRP is a method in which a certain quantity of a person’s blood plasma is extracted. This sample of blood is then placed into a machine called a centrifuge which spins at very high speeds. The spinning action of the centrifuge machine has the effect of separating out the various components of the blood based on their densities. The action of the centrifuge is to separate out the red blood cells, white blood cells, various proteins, platelets, and the fluid (plasma) of the blood.

Why PRP works so well

PRP works because it is plasma which has been enriched with the platelets and growth factor proteins. The platelets are much smaller in size than the red blood cells or white blood cells, and they are known to help the blood to clot.

In addition, these platelets also make proteins, many of which are growth factors. These factors assist the body by helping to build the tissues of blood vessels and the other tissues surrounding cells.

Growth factors are polypeptide molecules that form the building blocks of cells and tissues of the body. It is therefore not surprising that adding extra growth factors to a part of the body where healing is needed would be helpful.

PRP Applications

Platelet-rich plasma therapy has been used to treat patients with more than one type of injury. A detailed-review of PRP-related research paints a strong potential of this novel therapy to address a wide range of sports-related injuries, as well as other musculoskeletal issues.

Another 2014 study found that ultrasound-guided PRP therapy was able to successfully heal sports-related musculoskeletal damage. These benefits of PRP therapy still remained after one year’s time and participants were able to resume normal sporting activity.

PRP is also of use in cosmetic surgeries where it is a useful way to speed up the healing of tissues and it encourages blood vessel growth (angiogenesis). Angiogenesis is a crucial part of the recovery process since this is the blood supply for the cells and tissues. PRP therapy contains concentrated levels of certain growth hormones that have demonstrated the ability to promote rapid angiogenesis.

PRP For Hair Loss

PRP is, in fact, a very beneficial procedure for use in people who have thinning hair. The procedure can be used separately to stimulate the growth of hair follicles, or it can be used in conjunction with some type of hair transplant surgery.

Hair loss problems such as alopecia areata and alopecia androgenetic can both be treated with platelet-rich plasma therapy, with often good results. The PRP method is commonly used in hair loss clinics throughout the world in different countries. You can read more about hair transplant procedures and PRP therapy at the Vera Clinic in Turkey.

If you do not want to have hair transplant surgery, then you can still choose to have PRP therapy, which is not an invasive procedure. It is also not very painful and simply requires a sample of your blood and then after processing, the blood is re-injected in the regions of the scalp where it is needed for stimulating hair growth.

Final Thoughts

PRP is also advantageous because it is a safe procedure which helps to stimulate the formation of useful and important proteins such as elastin and collagen. These two proteins are important components of the skin and other body tissues. Furthermore, the PRP does improve vasculature, which means the blood that is being supplied to developing hair follicles. The blood supply is important in the healing and growth of tissues because it is how the sugars, proteins, and oxygen are transported to the actual cells. There is no downside to PRP therapy when it comes to helping with your hair loss.

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