What is PRP?
PRP is short for ‘Platelet-Rich Plasma’. Our blood contains plasma, which in turn has platelets in it. As the name suggests, PRP is simply plasma which is rich in platelets. According to the AAOS, “the concentration of platelets — and, thereby, the concentration of growth factors — can be 5 to 10 times greater (or richer) than usual.”
What is PRP for?
The human body requires platelets in order to repair itself. By increasing the number of platelets available to the body, we can increase the speed at which the body can repair itself. In other words, PRP enhances the body’s own natural healing mechanisms. This has many positive implications – PRP can be used in a variety of situations to:
- reduce the recovery time;
- improve recovery outcomes.
PRP and Plastic Surgery
Platelet-Rich Plasma is also used in plastic surgery. To quote a recent study:
PRP’s utility in cosmetic surgery is rapidly growing and offers a promising and exciting new therapeutic modality. (Kang et al. 2013.)
One of the main advantages of PRP is that it is non-invasive. It can simply be injected into – or around – the area of injury, without the requirement of surgery. In cases where surgery is performed, it can be administered post-operatively (or even prior) to promote surgical outcomes and expedite the healing process.
Specifically, PRP can be used to improve outcomes for a variety of conditions and procedures, including:
1. PRP for Scars
Scars are lasting damage to the skin, which result from the body not repairing itself to its pre-injury condition. PRP offers an opportunity to promote not just the speed of healing, but also the degree of healing. As a result, this can reduce the severity of scars, meaning a better (less visible) outcome.
2. PRP for Facial Procedures
PRP can also be used to improve the outcomes of facial procedures. A study by Cervelli et al. showed that patients who received PRP treatment resulted in better outcomes than patients who did not (Cervelli et al. 2009). There have also been other studies showing the positive effects of PRP when used in conjunction with facial procedures (see this article by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons).
3. PRP and the treatment of ulcers
Cervilli et al.’s study also showed improved outcomes in the treatment of ulcers on the skin (Cervelli et al. 2009). This particular study was showed that patients who received PRP showed a 100% rate of reepithelization compared to just 40-60% in the patients who did not.
Plastic Surgery & PRP – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Am I a good candidate for plastic surgery using PRP?
This is best determined by your plastic surgeon. He/she will know more about the specifics of your particular condition or injury and if PRP would be of benefit.
How much does PRP cost?
This will depend on a variety of factors, including the type of injury or condition, the number of PRP treatments required, and whether or not it is covered in your specific insurance policy.
About Dr. Zaydon, PRP, and Plastic Surgery
Dr. Zaydon has been utilising PRP as a complementary therapy with the goal of expediting and improving patient outcomes. As a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, he has many years of experience in both diagnosing and treating a variety of conditions and injuries for which a plastic surgeon is required.
- Cervelli, Valerio & Gentile, Pietro & Scioli, Maria Giovanna & Grimaldi, Monica & Umberto Casciani, Carlo & Spagnoli, Luigi & Orlandi, Augusto. (2009). Application of Platelet-Rich Plasma in Plastic Surgery: Clinical and In Vitro Evaluation. Tissue engineering. Part C, Methods. 15. 625-34. 10.1089/ten.TEC.2008.0518.
- Kang RS, Lee MK, Seth R, Keller GS. Platelet-Rich Plasma in Cosmetic Surgery. Int J Otorhinolaryngol Clin 2013;5(1):24-28.