Platelet-rich Plasma, or “PRP”, is a treatment modality that involves the removal of the platelets from a patient’s own blood sample to reapply to the wound and accelerate healing.
To begin PRP treatment, blood is drawn from the patient. The blood is then placed into a centrifuge and spun until the platelets have settled and separated. This process isolates the red blood cells, platelet rich-plasma, and platelet-poor plasma. Finally, the PRP is removed and applied to the wound – helping your body heal itself!
Why does this work?
When we get injured and bleeding occurs, platelets form clots to stop the bleeding and start healing the injured tissue by delivering growth factors to the wound. In chronic wounds, this process can be exhausted, causing damaged tissue to be deprived of these growth factors. PRP therapy recreates the process that the body performs naturally during healing, and there is no concern for rejection or allergic reaction since the platelets are your own.
The History of PRP
The concept of PRP started in the 1970s in the field of hematology. It was used to describe plasma with a platelet count higher than normal and used to treat patients with a low platelet count. In the 1980s, PRP began to be used in surgical procedures, most commonly maxillofacial surgery, for its adherence and cell growth properties. More recently, PRP has been used in tissue regeneration, scar revisions, skin rejuvenation, alopecia, and of course, wound healing.