Blood is composed of several elements, including red and white blood cells, plasma (the liquid portion) and platelets. Platelets play an important role in clotting and healing, stimulating the production of growth factors as well as collagen. PRP, or platelet-rich plasma, is a concentrated form of plasma that contains a much higher number of platelets. PRP is derived from a blood sample taken from the patient. The sample is processed using a special device to separate the platelets and concentrate them. Then the platelets are mixed with the remaining blood and injected back into the patient in the specific areas in which a healing response is desired.
PRP is used in cosmetic treatments and also to facilitate healing following injury or surgery. In cosmetic surgery, PRP therapy is commonly referred to as a “vampire” facelift, thanks to its use of blood products. PRP is used to correct cosmetic issues like wrinkles and loose, lax skin by stimulating the healing response at the cellular level, promoting the formation of new, healthy tissue to replace tissue damaged by the sun and other factors and restoring a healthier tone and texture to the skin. PRP is also used to replace volume in the eye areas and other locations where the skin appears thinner and less resilient.
First, the skin will be numbed with a topical gel or cream to reduce any discomfort caused by injections of PRP. A small sample of blood is drawn and processed to concentrate the platelets. The blood product is mixed with Juvederm®, a hyaluronic acid-based cosmetic filler, and then reinjected into the skin to promote both immediate and long-term results.
Many patients may experience swelling for the first few days after treatment, but any discomfort can be relieved with over-the-counter pain medications. No activity restrictions are imposed following treatment. Initial results are visible once swelling resolves, with continued improvements as the skin remodels itself.
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