All You Need to Know About PRP Treatment
PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma, which is a combination of 2 of the main elements of blood – plasma, which is the liquid portion or base of the blood and platelets, which are a type of blood cells that plays an important role in healing and regenerating the body. PRP first came into prominence as an effective treatment for hair loss. From there, it spread to the treatment of muscle, ligament and tendon injury, the treatment of arthritis and is even used to support the efficacy and healing of bone graft procedures.
How It Is Administered
PRP is created by drawing a medically approved amount of blood from the patient. This blood is then placed in a centrifuge which spins the blood at a high speed. This separates the other components of the blood from the PRP. Once the PRP serum is ready, it is injected into that part of the body that requires PRP treatment.
What It Is Used For
PRP treatments today are mainly used to treat musculoskeletal pain, disease and injuries; they help in post-surgical healing and are used in cosmetic procedures. That said, there is a great deal of research being done all over the world on the use of PRP and new applications are constantly emerging.
PRP is today being used for:
- Treatment of Joint, Muscle, Ligament and Tendon Injuries: Chronic conditions, especially sport-related issues like tennis elbow, rotator cuff damage, jumper’s knee, accident-related injuries not related to sporting activities, etc. typically take an extended amount of time to heal. PRP injections can help speed up the healing process while also reducing the pain that these conditions cause.
- Muscle and bone trauma is an unavoidable side-effect of many types of surgery. In some cases, recovery from surgical trauma takes a lot of time. PRP is used to accelerate the healing process so that recovery is faster.
- PRP has been proven to be effective in treating hair loss. It works by both preventing further hair loss and promoting the growth of new hair. It is also used to stimulate hair growth after hair transplant procedures. While PRP treatment for hair loss can be used on both men and women, it is more effective in the treatment of male pattern baldness.
- PRP is also used for skin rejuvenation and anti-aging treatment. PRP reduces facial wrinkles and other signs of aging.
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PRP Is Not a Miracle Treatment
The hype that currently surrounds the subject of PRP and the positive reactions of those who have received the treatment has led many people to think of it as a miracle cure. This is not the case. The efficacy of the treatment varies from patient to patient and because the treatment involves supporting and enhancing the body’s recovery and regeneration processes without the addition of any chemicals or medications, it takes some time to produce results. In the case of cosmetic procedures, it may take weeks for any visible changes or improvements to be noticed. Regarding the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries and diseases, the naturally slow recovery process is hastened, but that does not mean that the condition will be cured within a few days of receiving the treatment.
Preparing for PRP Treatment
If the medical condition for which PRP is being used does not require hospitalization, it is normally administered as an outpatient procedure. This means that the patient goes to the hospital, and has his blood drawn to prepare the PRP which is then injected into the area requiring this treatment. No special preparation is normally required for receiving a PRP injection. However, a doctor may recommend the following:
- Stopping any medication that may cause blood thinning.
- Stopping the consumption of vitamin and mineral supplements.
- Stopping alcohol consumption for a few days before the drawing of blood.
- Because blood is being drawn, patients are often advised to eat before the procedure. Similar to not donating blood on an empty stomach, this is to avoid any feeling of light-headedness.
After the Treatment
While the recovery period for the condition for which the PRP treatment is being used will vary depending on the nature of the problem, there is no special recovery procedure for the injection itself. In some cases, there may be some soreness and bruising around the area of the injection that typically fades away rapidly without the need for any treatment. A doctor may advise the following:
- Not to wash the treated area for 48 hours, especially if the injection has been given for cosmetic purposes.
- The doctor may advise against any strenuous activity for a short period.
- If the treatment has been for cosmetic purposes such as wrinkle reduction, the patient may be advised to avoid exposing the skin to the sun and to stop applying any cosmetics for a few days.
Also Read: The Importance of Health Packages in Staying Healthy
Suitability for PRP Treatment
- If the patient is a smoker, a regular consumer of alcohol or uses recreational drugs, the effectiveness of PRP treatment may be significantly reduced.
- Those in the process of recovering from medical conditions where PRP may not be beneficial may be asked to wait until the recovery is complete before starting this treatment.
- Those suffering from auto-immune conditions and cancer or those who have a prosthetic implant in the area to be treated may not be suitable candidates for the treatment.
- Women who are trying to conceive, are pregnant or who are lactating may be advised against PRP treatment.
PRP treatment is a safe and effective advancement of medical science, both for healing and therapeutic purposes as well as cosmetic ones. If you are considering PRP treatment or have been advised to get it done, you must go to a multispecialty hospital that has a full range of medical and surgical procedures available so that a holistic view of the condition may be obtained and the PRP can be used most effectively, whether it is to treat a medical problem or a cosmetic issue.
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