What is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)?
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a substance obtained from an individual’s own blood. The blood is drawn from a vein just like having a blood test or starting an IV. Once drawn, the blood is mixed with a special chemical to keep it from clotting. A specially programmed centrifuge is used to separate the tiny cells known as platelets from the rest of the blood elements. The fluid portion of the blood known as plasma is also separated out from the rest of the blood. The plasma and platelets are then mixed together to form a platelet-rich plasma.
What makes PRP Special?
Platelets are important in our bodies’ healing functions. When an injury occurs, platelets are some of the first cells there. Platelets are the body’s “First Responders”, and like our nation’s First Responders they do a great deal to stabilize injuries and save lives. Platelets start the blood clotting process and release proteins called growth factors to call in white blood cells and stem cells. The white blood cells clean up the damage and destroy infection and other invaders. The stem cells produce the new cells needed to heal. It is these growth factors that make PRP special. It is like having all of your first responders in one place and ready to go BEFORE the accident occurs. The added growth factors enhance the body’s healing response.
What is a PRP Facial?
Platelet Rich Plasma or (PRP) facials have become a common type of medical-grade facials. PRP facials have become popular in the last few years as a number of celebrities have been reported to use them. There are several methods of helping PRP through the skin barrier to rejuvenate and enhance the skin. One popular method is called micro-needling. Micro-needling uses hundreds of small needles to make thousands of small holes in the skin. The needles cause little pain. PRP is then applied over the area treated. Similar PRP facials have been done after resurfacing lasers like Fraxel or especially the SmartXide DOT laser. PRP has been shown to speed healing and enhance results after using these lasers. The most common PRP facial is direct injection. Tiny needles similar to Botox needles are used to inject the PRP directly into the lower skin of the face or other areas. These can have great results.
Why use PRP with Fat Transfer?
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is commonly added to fat being transferred from one body area to the face, breast or buttock. PRP is rich in special proteins called growth factors. Growth factors are the chemical messengers our cells use to talk to each other. When fat is transferred, it releases growth factors to tell the body to build the new support network the cells need to survive in their new home. PRP speeds up and enhances the fat’s ability to communicate with the surrounding tissue in their new home. Studies show up to 20-25% greater survival of transferred fat when PRP is added. This is especially important in facial fat transfer. When small amounts of fat are available, PRP is also helpful in giving good results.