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Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections

There are many different compounds found in the makeup of our blood. Plasma is the liquid that fills the majority of the blood contents, but there are many other components like red cells, white cells and platelets that can be found as well. Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP for shorthand, is a substance with a much higher concentration of platelets than what would normally be found in the blood.

Platelets contain hundreds of different proteins that are often referred to as growth factors. PRP can have between five and ten times as many platelets as regular blood. So it should come as no surprise that PRP would have tremendous potential to impact the medical field, especially when attaining it is as easy as performing a blood draw.

How Is PRP Made?

PRP is made directly from your own blood — all that is required is a simple blood draw. Once the blood draw has been made, the harvested blood is put into a centrifuge, a medical-grade device that separates different compounds in a liquid solution. In this case, the centrifuge separates the platelets from the rest of the plasma and cells.

Many people mistakenly believe that PRP needs to be harvested from bones, and there are also a few stories of PRP being extracted from baby stem cells. We can assure you this is not the case. A simple blood draw — similar to any lab work or blood donation you have done in the past — is all that is required to gather the PPR.

Traditionally, PRP removes as much material away from the platelets as possible, creating as concentrated a solution of growth factors as possible. But some physicians are now looking to develop something called platelet-rich fibrin, which includes more red, white and stem cells than PRP. This has some benefits for certain medical procedures.

How Does PRP Work?

When these nutrient-rich substances come into contact with the body, it is like giving a booster shot to the body’s natural healing process. Whenever you get a cut, scrape, tear or other injuries, your body will respond with the direct deployment of these growth factors to the injured area. Your blood has limits to the concentration of these proteins it can transport though, so using PRP in those areas bypasses those limits.

How Is PRP Used?

Historically, PRP was first used to treat injuries. Many people — including athletes — have used PRP to treat chronic and acute injuries in the tendons, ligaments and muscles. It has also been medically proven to combat knee arthritis, fractures and even helps certain types of tissues heal more effectively after surgery.

As the information and research on PRP effectiveness grew for these medical purposes, plastic surgeons, cosmetic surgeons and medical aesthetic practitioners began to take note of its usefulness. Eventually, PRP began to be used in a cosmetic treatment to boost the results that could be achieved. The two main applications for PRP were microneedling and injections.

What Is Microneedling with PRP?

Microneedling is a minimally invasive aesthetic procedure that can improve the texture and tone of many different blemishes on the skin, like fine lines, wrinkles, sun spots, acne scars, etc. During this procedure, a handheld medical-grade rolling pin with hundreds of tiny needles attached is moved throughout the targeted area, creating hundreds or thousands of microwounds.

Your body immediately begins healing the “wounds” by flushing collagen, elastin and other growth factors found in the platelets of our blood. But by applying PRP directly to the skin during the treatment, we have found that the results can be noticeably improved since the microwounds open up direct channels for the PRP to travel to the targeted skin.

What Is a PRP Injection?

In some cases, PRP can be injected directly into a targeted location to restore volume in the skin by boosting the amount of collagen and elastin in the given area. This technique is often referred to as a vampire lift, but that name is sometimes also used to refer to microneedling with PRP as well.

Unlike microneedling, however, injections concentrate the growth factors into a much more pinpointed area, which is a great technique if you are looking to improve one specific feature instead of casting a wider net to the rest of the face or other skin.

PRP During Facelifts

Many surgeons have begun using PRP during surgeries like a facelift. The solution is applied underneath the skin where the incisions were made. This gives the body a jumpstart on the healing process, allowing the total recovery time to decrease.

How Much Does PRP Cost?

The cost of having PRP performed is difficult to nail down since it is usually done alongside a different procedure like microneedling, facelifts, etc. You can expect one of these PRP treatments to cost between $500 and $2,500 though, depending on how much correction is being made and which treatment is being performed.

How Should I Prepare for PRP Treatment?

You don’t need to make any specific preparations for PRP treatments. You can keep to your usual routine as much as possible in the days and weeks leading up to your treatment. Some medications may affect your blood composition; if necessary, we will work with your primary physician to alter or temporarily stop those medications to ensure your safety and the integrity of your results.

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What Is PRP Therapy?

PRP therapy refers to the use of platelet-rich plasma in either a medicinal or cosmetic application. It can be injected directly into the skin or through a microneedling session.

Does PRP Work for Hair Loss?

PRP has shown some promising results when it comes to restoring lost hair. When flushing an area with growth factors, some of those substances bolster the health of the hair follicles, helping them to produce more robust and more resilient hair.

Is PRP Covered By Insurance?

Since PRP is considered an optional treatment, it is often not covered by insurance. You should always make sure to check though since there are always exceptions to the rules.

Does PRP Hurt?

Most patients do not find the blood draw particularly painful outside of the first prick into the skin. If you’ve ever had a shot or given blood, you already know what kind of pain to expect from this procedure.

Can PRP Be Performed While Pregnant?

Generally, at Aesthetic Envy, we recommend that pregnant women wait until they have given birth before having PRP performed since infection is a risk in any type of invasive or minimally invasive procedure that can be harmful to your growing baby.

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PRP in Sacramento, CA

If you are interested in one of the cosmetic applications of PRP or would like to learn more about how it can help you improve your appearance, give our office a call at (916) 333-4906 to set up a consultation with one of our medical professionals. You can also fill out our online contact form below, and a team member will reach out to you at a more convenient time.