Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy - All You Need To Know About PRP
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy is a treatment process wherein a person’s blood is drawn, processed and then injected into an area of the body. Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy is useful in helping people recover from injury. It also finds use for various other purposes including hair growth and soft-tissue healing. It can enhance the healing of injured tendons, muscles, ligaments and joints. As far as hair loss is concerned this is used both as a stand-alone treatment as also in combination with other hair fall treatment medicines like minoxidil. This form of treatment is also used for hair transplant surgery to quicken recovery after surgery.
What Is Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy is a process whereby a number of platelets or blood cells are injected into an area in the body which is experiencing inflammation or tissue damage to help expedite the healing procedure. Platelets are the first element of the body to respond to any injury as they gather to stop the bleeding and help in recovery. It also helps with hair thinning issues.
A blood sample of the person undergoing treatment is taken and put into a specially created device and made to spin at high speed. This will result in the platelets being separated from the other components. The platelets can then be injected into that part of the body requiring treatment. Since the injection will contain a higher number of platelets than the area that it will be injected into, this will result in faster healing in that section. This procedure can also help treat male pattern baldness; however, Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy will not achieve any success for people who are totally bald.
How Does PRP Work for Hair Loss
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy for hair loss is a procedure consisting of 3 steps in which a person’s blood is drawn out, treated and then there is an injection on the scalp for hair growth. This process is designed to expedite natural hair growth of the scalp by augmenting the flow of blood into the hair follicles and thereby help increase the quality and thickness of the hair shaft. Since different clinics follow different rules and procedures for administering the plasma, the results may vary. Also, the lack of a common protocol for injecting makes it difficult to come to a consensus regarding the efficacy of the injection. Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy also helps combat different stages of receding hairline.
Platelet-rich plasma is used because of its greater efficacy in accelerating hair growth as it has 5 times the number of platelets found in normal blood. These platelets are capable of:
- Inducing growth factor derived from the capacity of the platelets
- Producing transformational growth
- Growth factor similar to one produced by insulin
- Keratinocyte growth factor
- Vascular endothelial growth factor
This is not a one-time treatment procedure. At least one maintenance per year will be required to ensure that the results achieved endure for a sufficient period of time. The doctor will offer his recommendations on how often the Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy is to be given based on the condition of the individual and the results achieved in the previous treatment sessions.
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy Procedure
There are several different methods of injecting plasma into your scalp. To facilitate the process a topical lidocaine solution may be applied to numb your scalp before the injection. On other occasions a local anaesthetic could be applied to the PRP to prevent any discomfort. This is carried out in the following manner:
- The blood is drawn out from the arm and put into a centrifuge, a machine that spins at a rapid pace to segregate the fluids of separate densities present in the blood.
- After about 10 minutes in the centrifuge the blood would have been separated into 3 different sections namely platelet-rich plasma, platelet-poor plasma and red blood cells.
- The plasma platelets are then taken into a syringe and injected into the sections of the scalp that need more hair. At times imaging techniques like ultrasound are also used for greater accuracy as this will be able to pinpoint the area where the injection is required. There are also 2 different procedures for injecting this into the scalp.
- Subdermal: A long needle is used to inject the plasma into the subcutaneous fat layer of the scalp. This will require a lesser number of injections.
- Dermal: A shorter needle is used to inject the Platelet Rich Plasma into the dermal layer. This will necessitate more injections.
The advantage is that because the protein rich plasma is taken from the body of the individual, there is no risk of inducing an infection. The recovery after surgery is immediate and there is no downtime after the procedure.
Are there any side effects of Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy?
The possibility of developing an infection with the therapy is quite negligible as the plasma being inserted will be taken out of the patient’s body. The therapy is regarded as immunologically neutral and can be considered safe and there is largely no danger of allergies and reactions. The sterile technique used is very useful for any patient with a medical condition as he is protected from infection. However, as with any medical procedure some side-effects are par for the course and so is the case with this too. Following are the probable side-effects:
- Possible injury to nerves and blood vessels
- Calcification of the injection points
- Scarring of the tissues
- Risk of an infection spreading
It is advisable to reveal the history of all medications including herbs and supplements taken by the patient before opting for the procedure. If you belong to any of the following categories you might not be allowed to opt for the treatment:
- If you are a heavy smoker
- If you have been indulging in any substance or alcohol abuse
- If you have been using blood thinners
You could also be denied permission for treatment because of the following:
- Any acute infections
- Any severe skin disease
- Metabolic dysfunctions
- Chronic liver disease
- Thyroid complications
- Low platelet count
- Hemodynamic instability
How Much Does PRP Procedure Cost?
The PRP procedure is a long and exhaustive process and normally includes 3 types of treatment all within a duration of 4-6 weeks. However, maintenance treatments have to be done every 4-6 months. The cost of the treatment ranges from ₹4500-₹15000 per session. The cost of PRP depends on the:
- quality of the equipment used
- the location
- the addition of nutritive supplements
- the sessions required
The duration of the treatment depends on the extent of damage, for if the loss is very drastic more interventions will be necessary. For people looking for insurance for PRP procedures, unfortunately very few companies include this in their coverage plans.
So, with platelet rich plasma therapy hair loss problems become history as it can not only expedite the healing process but also lead to hair regrowth. For more solutions to your hair loss issues do get in touch with us at Traya and our experts will ensure your smooth and comfortable transition towards hair health.
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Dr. Jaspreet Sarna, M.D
Dr. Sarna is an MD (Skin & VD) with a decade-long experience in treating hair loss and working on hair regrowth. She believes stress management is the key to good health.