Platelet rich plasma: how regenerative medicine is changing the face of aesthetics
By: Dr. Anna Hagler
For years, doctors and patients alike have been searching for an aesthetic treatment that is completely natural, 100 percent compatible with our body, has no side effects and has zero downtime. We can now say that we have come closer than ever with platelet rich plasma (PRP).
What is PRP?
PRP is a natural product obtained from our own blood – all it takes to harvest this magical potion is a small blood draw similar to having laboratory work done. After drawing, the sample is placed into a centrifuge that spins and separates the blood into three fractions:
1. Plasma rich in platelets
2. Plasma poor in platelets
3. Red blood cells
How does PRP work?
The fraction for regenerative use is the plasma rich in platelets: little acellular fragments that carry a multitude of growth factors that stimulate other cells in the body to heal and rejuvenate. With approximately eight times the normal concentration of platelets in our blood, the PRP is injected directly into the body area needing repair. Once injected, these little depositories of growth factors release them into the tissue to stimulate local cells.
What can PRP treat?
Prior to making its debut in aesthetic medicine, PRP has been used in fields like sports medicine, surgery and rheumatology. Its application varies from treating bursitis, plantar fasciitis and to bone fractures, joint arthritis and surgical wound healing. With decades of proven safety and ease of application, it is no surprise it finally made it into aesthetics.
In the face and décolletage, your existing collagen is increased to improve skin quality, volume and elasticity. The treatment can be used for rejuvenating aging skin that lost tone and volume, for treatment of fine lines and wrinkles and even for scars – whether post acne or surgical. In the breasts, existing fat cells proliferate to increase volume to regain a youthful, full shape. PRP can even be used with previous breast augmentation patients looking to increase cleavage.
Hair restoration is achieved by stimulation of the hair follicles. While many factors play a role in hair loss and thinning, PRP can help slow the progression of loss and store growth in those areas. Other body applications vary from stretch marks to volume loss in the back of the hands. The possibilities with PRP are endless! It is truly your body regenerating itself!
What to expect?
One of the biggest advantages of PRP is that it has almost no contraindications or side effects, because it is derived from your own body. With the use of topical anesthetics to the treatment area, patients tolerate the procedure very well, with minimal discomfort.
After the PRP is harvested, it is injected with a very tiny needle into the target tissue. The injections are in very small increments, tightly spaced, to cover the entire treatment area. A small amount of bruising can occur afterwards, but after the procedure is completed, there are no restrictions or downtime. The patient can return to normal activities immediately.
When considering PRP treatments, it is important that you choose a board-certified medical professional to assess your condition and perform the treatment. This will assure that the equipment used to prepare your PRP is of highest quality and yields the highest concentration of platelets to receive maximum benefit. It will also guarantee that the procedure is performed correctly and safely to achieve the best possible result.
Dr. Anna Hagler is a board-certified physician, certified PRP provider and co-owner of Coastal Spa MD. For more information or to book a free PRP consult, please call Coastal Spa MD at 361-336-6464 or visit www.coastalspamd.com. Current before/after pictures of PRP treatments can be found on the website and on Coastal Spa MD’s Facebook page.