Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
WHAT IS PRP?
Platelet Rich Plasma is composed of plasma with a high concentration of white blood cells (WBC) and platelets containing growth factors. The WBCs help fight infections, while the platelets help clot the blood and contain the powerful growth factors needed to start the healing process. A normal platelet count is 150,000 – 350,000. PRP contains 3-6 times that number and sometimes more.
Surgeons now have a tool to significantly enhance the healing process and speed up recovery time. When we undergo surgery or sustain any kind of wound, our bodies go through a lengthy healing process. Our bodies call up natural healing factors, but sometimes that is not enough.
PRP helps jumpstart the healing process because it is a concentration of your own autologous platelets, which have reservoirs filled with powerful growth factors and healing agents. To get PRP, we obtain a small amount of your blood, 1-2 oz, then separate and concentrate the platelets. Your surgeon then applies the concentration of platelets to your wound, surgical site, or injury site.
In many different surgical specialties, the data shows that PRP accelerates the healing process, slows or stops post-operative oozing, reduces blood loss, accelerates bone regeneration, helps tendons and ligaments repair more quickly, reduces inflammation, and decreases postop time.
PRP Growth Factors:
Your platelets release healing proteins called growth factors. There are many growth factors with varying responsibilities, however, cumulatively they accelerate tissue and wound healing. Therefore, after increasing the baseline concentration of these platelets, we are able to deliver a powerful dose of growth factors that can dramatically enhance the healing process.
In summary, PRP growth factors: promote the growth of specific types of cells and tissues, increase the development of new blood cells, accelerate bone regeneration, and initiate connective tissue.
Where can PRP be used? PRP can be used in almost any surgical specialties where tissue or bone has been injured, cut, or bruised, such as in orthopedics, pain management, and wound care.
How is PRP applied?
The use of PRP varies from procedure to procedure and can be applied in a variety of ways. Generally, it is sprayed on topically at the end of the procedure to control post-op oozing, to fixate small bone graft material, and spread the concentrated growth factors under and around soft tissue and tissue grafts. PRP can also be injected into an injury site without an incision to help the injury site heal. The presence of a high concentration of platelets starts and accelerates the healing process and reduces post-operative swelling, bruising, scarring and pain.
Who makes PRP?
Most of the time, blood is drawn by a nurse or other qualified healthcare professional. An ABR technician is specifically trained in the proper application and use of PRP and then processes the blood. Our technician will assist and advise the surgeon in the proper application of PRP. The process takes approximately 15-20 minutes.
Who can benefit from PRP?
Anyone, from professional athletes to those who enjoy recreational activities or whose wounds are difficult to heal, can benefit from PRP. If you have been told you need surgery for your ailment, PRP may be a way to avoid costly surgery.