PRP or platelet-rich plasma treatment is a treatment method that is applied in the form of injection of blood taken from the person into the tissues planned to be treated in the body after various processes. It can be used for aesthetic problems such as hair loss and skin rejuvenation, as well as to accelerate the healing of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints.
What is PRP?
PRP is a form of treatment consisting of the initials of the words ‘Platelet Rich Plasma‘ in English and injected with the substance obtained from the person’s own blood. The injected substance is platelet enriched plasma. Plasma is a blood component that contains special cells or other factors and proteins called platelets that help blood to clot. Plasma also contains a variety of proteins that support cell growth. By isolating and concentrating the plasma from the blood, the researchers obtained a blood component called PRP, a plasma richer in platelet cells.
Injection of PRP into damaged tissues promotes the growth of new, healthy cells in the body. PRP is also thought to support healing in damaged tissue. As the tissue growth factors are more concentrated in the concentrated injection material, the recovery in the body tissues is accelerated.
How is PRP treatment done?
PRP therapy, which takes about 30-40 minutes to complete, begins with the collection of the patient’s blood in a tube. Platelet-rich plasma is used by centrifugation from other components of whole blood. Because platelets act as a natural reservoir for growth factors necessary to repair injured tissues. Growth factors secreted by platelets stimulate tissue healing by increasing collagen production and gene and protein expression in tendon stem cells. These growth factors also accelerate blood flow and make the cartilages harder and more flexible.
PRP injections can be done in different ways. For example, before injecting the scalp for hair loss, if deemed necessary, lidocaine, a local anesthetic solution, is applied. For this, it may be necessary to arrive a little early for the treatment session. Generally, PRP is mixed with a local anesthetic to reduce the pain associated with the injection. Sometimes PRP injection can be done with the surgical procedure.
How is PRP applied?
PRP injections are administered by specialist doctors trained in this field. The process is carried out in several successive steps. The way followed during PRP application is as follows;
- First of all, some blood is taken from the patient by the healthcare professional to prepare the PRP to be injected. The amount of blood taken depends on where the PRP will be injected. For example, the amount of blood taken for an injection into the scalp for hair loss is approximately 20 milliliters.
- The blood sample taken in a tube under sterile conditions is placed in a centrifuge device. The centrifuge is a machine that rotates very quickly and separates blood components. The separation process takes about 15 minutes. This process separates the platelets from other blood components.
- Then the separated plasma is made ready for injection into the affected area. With the process, plasma containing concentrated platelets is obtained.
- Imaging methods such as ultrasound are used to determine the areas for injection, such as tendons.
- After the injection area is determined, the prepared PRP is injected into the affected area.
PRP is thought to have an accelerating effect on healing, as the injection contains a concentration of platelets 5 to 10 times higher than normal blood. The time from the blood collection to the completion of the procedure usually covers a period of half an hour.
Why is PRP applied?
PRP is used to speed healing and reduce inflammation. Platelet-rich plasma therapy or PRP injections can be used for various reasons such as promoting hair growth, skin rejuvenation, and accelerating soft tissue healing. Platelet activation plays an important role in the body’s natural healing process, and large amounts of platelets are injected into the target area with PRP.
Since it is applied with a substance obtained from the person’s own blood, it does not cause serious side effects and increases the applicability of PRP. However, according to scientific studies, the benefits of PRP have not been proven definitively, as it is a new treatment method.
PRP injections are used in the treatment of a range of conditions and ailments. Among the areas where PRP is most preferred are the following;
- Hair loss: PRP injections can be applied to the scalp to stimulate hair growth and prevent hair loss. According to the researches, PRP injections have been shown to be effective in the treatment of androgenic alopecia, also known as male pattern baldness. Favorable results can be obtained in genetic hair loss, especially in men. PRP can also be applied in combination with hair mesotherapy.
- Tendon injuries: The tough, thick bands of tissue that connect muscles to bone are called tendons. Usually, tendons are slow to heal after injury. PRP injections can be used to treat chronic tendon problems such as tennis elbow, Achilles tendinitis of the ankle, or pain or inflammation in the patellar tendon of the knee.
- Post-surgical repair: Sometimes PRP injections are used after surgery to repair a torn tendon or ligaments, such as the rotator cuff tendon in the shoulder.
- Osteoarthritis (Calcification): PRP is injected into the knee and hip joints of patients with osteoarthritis. According to a small number of studies, it has been determined that PRP injections are more effective than hyaluronic acid injections in the treatment of osteoarthritis.
- Skin Rejuvenation: PRP injections can be used for signs of aging on the skin due to aging and environmental factors. Positive effects such as increase in skin elasticity and decrease in wrinkles can be observed with the application. PRP can also be preferred to get rid of scars on the skin.
Since PRP is a very new treatment method, its effectiveness has not been fully clarified yet.
This therapeutic power of your blood is used in many areas. 100-150 cc of your blood, ie a tea glass, is taken and passed through a special process. The platelet rich plasma PRP (PLATELET RICH PLASMA) part is taken and injected into the areas to be treated. In this way, stem cell migration occurs thanks to the growth factor (healing repair) secretion that activates the cells of this region. The newly arrived cells increase the synthesis of collagen and allow the tissue to heal.
- In the treatment of non-healing wounds
- Shoulder joint (Rotator cuff) injuries
- Tennis elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)
- Golfer’s elbow (Medial Epicondylitis)
- Heel Spur (Epin Calcanei)
- Muscle Problems (muscle rupture, strain etc.)
- Knee ligament strains
- Degenerative knee diseases (in knee, hip, shoulder, ankle calcification)
- Patella tendinitis
- Ankle sprains
- Achilles tendon injuries
- Plantar fasciitis
- Meniscus tears
- Disc herniation (herniated disc)
- Myofascial pain (in muscle tension, which we know as grip pain)
- Chronic Low Back Pain
- It is used successfully in many application areas such as application to the broken area in order to increase the fracture union.
- In the treatment of orthopedic problems, PRP therapy can be repeated 3-10 times, once a week.
- Since PRP therapy is taken from your own blood, it does not contain any side effects. You can continue your daily life after the treatment. There is almost no pain due to the application of local anesthetic before the applications.
- 70-80% success is observed in wound treatments and some orthopedic problems that may require surgery.
What are the possible side effects of PRP?
PRP has potential side effects due to the injection applied to the skin. Since PRP contains substances directly taken from the body, allergic reaction is less than the risk of allergic reactions caused by injecting other drugs such as cortisone or hyaluronic acid. However, there are several risks arising from the injection itself, including:
- Nerve injuries
- Pain at the injection site
- Tissue damage
- Most of the patients can return to daily activities immediately after the procedure.
How long is the recovery time for PRP injections?
When PRP is injected into the relevant area after the injury, the doctor may recommend resting the affected area. However, the rest recommendation is more about the degree of injury. Most people can resume their daily activities immediately following PRP injections, regardless of injury.
No difference is observed immediately after PRP injections, because first of all, growth factors must be activated. Therefore, within a few weeks or months after the application, it may be noticed that the injured area heals faster or that there is more hair on the scalp than expected.
How many sessions is PRP treatment completed?
For the treatment of arthritis or chronic tendinitis, most patients need 2-3 sessions of PRP treatment. In acute muscle injuries, 1-2 sessions are often sufficient. Age is an important factor that determines the number of sessions needed. Because the number of stem cells in the body decreases as we age, more sessions may be needed for treatment.
PRP sessions are usually applied at 2-week intervals. It is planned to be an average of 3-8 sessions according to the needs and disease of the person. It can be combined with mesotherapy for hair loss and skin rejuvenation . After the sessions are completed, injections can be continued 1-2 times a year.
Frequently asked Questions
Is PRP medicine?
PRP is not a medicine. It does not contain any substance other than the person’s own blood. Its effect is limited to the area where it is applied, unlike the drugs. It does not cause side effects in kidney, liver and stomach. Does not contain cortisone. PRP contains growth factors that enable cells in the body’s healing response to reach the area and proliferate. These factors also have positive effects on the formation of new vessels, prevention of infections, and production of tissue proteins. In recent years, forms containing hyaluronic acid have also been developed for some intra-articular PRP applications. In this type of injections, PRP is prepared from the blood taken from the patient, then mixed with hyaluronic acid and injected into the joint.
Are there stem cells in PRP?
Contrary to popular belief, PRP contains very few stem cells. Stem cells are found in small numbers in many tissues in the musculoskeletal system such as muscle, bone marrow, adipose tissue, synovia (the thin membrane layer that covers the joint). For the therapeutic use of stem cells, either the tissue taken from the bone marrow must be concentrated with special techniques or the cells obtained from the above-mentioned tissues must be produced in the laboratory and applied in a second session after a few weeks. PRP application kits and bone marrow concentrate application kits are different.
Can PRP be applied to other people?
Although blood products are applied to other people when needed, PRP can only be applied to the person himself. Thus, the risk of carrying diseases such as hepatitis and AIDS is eliminated. PRP should be used within a few minutes after preparation, its effect will decrease significantly after the 10th minute.
What should I do after the PRP is applied?
After PRP is applied, ice application and paracetamol derivative painkillers are appropriate for pain. Non-steriode anti-inflammatory drugs (such as voltaren, naproxen, magnesic) are not recommended as they will reduce the effectiveness of PRP application. Resting is an important part of healing and for this reason, compulsive exercise and sports are not recommended after PRP application. Simple stretching exercises can be done, but weight training against resistance should be avoided. Bandages and simple wristbands can be applied. The time to return to sports and training can vary between 3-6 weeks. During this period, it is necessary to avoid the use of nonsteriod anti-inflammatory drugs. It will be appropriate to ask your doctor about the drugs you can use after PRP application and the time you return to sports.
Are there any complications and side effects of PRP application?
After PRP application, there may be increased swelling and pain in the injection area at a low rate. This pain may continue for a few days, but this problem can be solved with simple painkillers and ice application. Apart from this, PRP has no side effects on internal organs such as kidney, liver, stomach. Since the person’s own blood is used, there is no risk of allergic reaction. There is no information about its use in pregnancy.
Does PRP affect Doping tests?
The use of PRP as an injection in the musculoskeletal system has been excluded from the International Olympic Committee’s World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned substances and practices and is not considered doping. Since it is not a urinary drug, it is not possible to identify it in doping tests. PRP injected into the vein is still prohibited.
Is PRP Stem Cell Therapy?
PRP therapy is not a stem cell therapy. PRP treatment increases the number of platelets that initiate the whole process. After the application, the fibrin networks formed in the skin work indirectly with stem cells by collecting the stem cells in the environment. Therefore, when PRP treatment rich in platelet cells is applied to the skin, the process of repair and renewal of the skin is triggered.
How is PRP Obtained?
In PRP treatment, blood is taken from the person and placed in special tubes. Special tubes are placed in a high speed rotating centrifuge device. The centrifuge device must rotate at a certain speed and time in order to obtain rich plasma from platelet cells.
How Often is PRP Performed?
PRP treatment is done at intervals of 2-4 weeks.
Who does PRP not apply?
It is not applied to those who have a family history of cancer, those who use blood thinners, those who have blood disease, those who have infection and inflammation in the area to be applied, pregnant women and breastfeeding.
When Are The Results of PRP Treatment Seen?
Since PRP treatment is based on the self-renewal of the skin or the applied tissue, it is wrong to wait for the treatment result immediately. The results of PRP treatment are revealed after the second or third session.
After PRP treatment for aesthetic purposes, tightening and sagging of the skin, wrinkles, lightening of the skin, shine and scars occur. After the application to the scalp, an increase in hair thickness and concentration in rare areas are observed.
How Long Does PRP Affect Business and Social Life?
After the PRP application, the person can continue his normal life. There is no appearance that affects business and social life. In some cases, small and temporary bruises and redness may occur depending on the needles used in the application. Applying ice compresses after the procedure alleviates this side effect.
What are the reasons for PRP application?
- To add flexibility and shine to the leather
- Preventing hair loss, strengthening hair
- Preventing wrinkles and dents
- Restructuring the skin in wounds, cracks and skin damage
- Providing rapid restructuring of the skin after operations such as laser
- Used in medical aesthetics such as face, hands and arms, inner legs, neck and décolleté.
- PRP provides a non-surgical solution to the rupture of the Achilles tendon.
- PRP method is used for pain.
- Many of the PRP applications are performed by physicians through application kits produced by a biotechnology company.
How does hair treatment with PRP work?
100-150 hair loss per day is considered normal. If more than this, hair loss should be taken seriously. PRP also provides successful results in hair treatment. It has been determined that patients get very effective results, especially in hair loss. During the PRP procedure, the patient’s own blood is taken and passed through a device. Here , the part that will nourish the roots called thrombocyte and ensure its development is separated and injected into the spilled area. This method is particularly effective in genetic spills. Hair mesotherapy can also be applied in combination with PRP for those with genetic loss.
In PRP application for hair, first 10 cc of venous blood of the patient is taken (1/10 of 1 tea glass). Centrifuged blood is divided into two parts as white and red blood. Red blood contains white blood cells, platelets, coagulation factors, PGF (Platelet growth factor). After the red blood is subjected to a special process, it is injected into the diluted area by napaj method. The basis of this application is tissue regeneration. Hair treatment with PRP 30 minutes. While it lasts, there is no pain during application. After PRP, there is no scar and the person can continue his routine life immediately.
How long does hair treatment with PRP take?
Hair treatment with PRP is applied for a maximum of 30 minutes every 15 days and usually takes 3-4 months. After that, it will be sufficient to apply once a year. The most important advantage of this method is that the special plasma is obtained from the patient’s own blood and does not have an allergy risk.
How is the skin rejuvenation method applied with PRP?
Skin aging is caused by losing some of its features, just like during the injury process. In skin rejuvenation methods, various methods applied while healing the wound are imitated. The structure that can repair skin damage in the most effective, fastest and most natural way is a part of the whole skin to which it belongs. For this reason, PRP has developed as a method that activates this magical power circulating in our veins.
Skin rejuvenation with PRP can mostly be considered for various parts of the body such as face, neck, décolleté, hands, legs, arms. Especially after applications such as laser and peeling, it is possible to quickly rebuild the skin.
Wrinkles, spots and depressions can be removed on skin exposed to UV rays. Restoring flexibility and brightness to the skin is also one of the most important results of skin rejuvenation with PRP. In addition, cases where the skin quality is damaged, such as healing wounds that take a long time to heal in the body, can be controlled with PRP.
How many sessions does the skin rejuvenation method with PRP take?
PRP, which provides rejuvenation by injecting one’s own blood into his own body, can last 3-4 sessions at intervals of 2-4 weeks. The most distinctive feature of the PRP method provides a completely natural rejuvenation without any foreign substance or medication to the body.
Thanks to PRP, the dry and dull appearance of the skin is improved from the first sessions. There is also a decrease in wrinkles and an increase in skin elasticity. PRP does not only help alleviate the signs of aging. At the same time, it slows down the aging process and acts as a “youth vaccine” . For this reason, it is a method that can be used by any adult who wants to slow down the aging process without waiting for signs of aging.
How long does PRP take effect on the skin?
The shiny and healthy skin appearance that appears on the skin after PRP may lighten after a while. Therefore, it should be supplemented with additional skin rejuvenating applications. After 3 or 4 days of PRP application, repeating the cures every 10-12 months makes the rejuvenation effect almost permanent.
How much does PRP cost?
Costs for PRP treatment are reported to range from $ 500 to $ 2,000.
Typically not covered by insurance due to the lack of evidence to conclusively prove it has worked so far.
Also, costs may vary depending on the location, facilities, and the expertise of the treating physician. Often times, a person is given multiple injections 2 to 3 months apart.
Some of the world’s most elite athletes have used PRP for wound healing. These include golf Tiger Woods, baseball player Takashi Saito, and football’s Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu.
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