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Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, is a substance that’s thought to promote healing when injected. Plasma is a component of your blood that contains special “factors,” or proteins, that help your blood to clot. It also contains proteins that support cell growth.

ABOUT PLATELET-RICH PLASMA THERAPY

How does it work?

Platelets are blood cells with several roles to play in the body. One is to promote blood clotting so that a person does not excessively bleed when they are cut. Another is to contain proteins in the blood that help wounds to heal.

Researchers theorize that by injecting areas of inflammation or tissue damage with high concentrations of platelets, it can encourage wounds to heal.

A small blood sample is taken from the person being treated and put into a centrifuge or other specialized device that spins at high speed. This process separates platelets from other blood components. The concentration of platelets is then injected into the area of the person’s body that needs to be treated.

What are the benefits?

Some examples of treatment areas where PRP has been used include:

Hair growth

Doctors have injected PRP into the scalp, as a way of reducing the inflammation that can lead to hair loss.

Tissue healing

Doctors first used PRP to help people heal after jaw and plastic surgeries. Examples of tissues that PRP has been used on include:

  • tendons
  • ligaments
  • muscles

Ligaments can take time and be hard to heal, which can make PRP an attractive option for some of those who have experienced injuries to this tissue group.

Side effects

As injecting PRP involves using a person’s own platelets, they do not generally experience any adverse reactions to the injections. However, it is possible that a person may have irritation, pain, or bleeding connected to the injection site.

Most people can resume their normal activities almost immediately after having a PRP injection. The average time from blood-drawing to the injection it is about half-an-hour.

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