PRP is an abbreviation for platelet-rich plasma. Both platelets and plasma are components of blood. Plasma is the liquid portion of blood, while platelets contain substances called growth factors that play an active role in tissue healing following an injury or surgery. PRP is a special blood product made from a patient’s own blood that contains high concentrations of platelets – five times or more platelets than are normally found in blood. When PRP is reinjected into a site of injury, the growth factors go to work to help speed the healing process and regenerate healthy tissue to repair damage.
PRP is made from the patient’s own blood, so there’s no risk of allergic reaction or rejection. A small sample is extracted from the patient and placed in a special device that separates the platelets from the plasma, then concentrates the platelets to enrich the sample. This enriched substance is reintroduced to the plasma and then injected into the treatment site.
PRP is used extensively in the treatment of injuries and tissue damage to help speed healing and reduce pain. Some common uses include treatment of:
Plus, PRP is often used during surgical procedures to help initiate and strengthen the early healing process.
The growth factors in platelets use a special signaling process to stimulate local and regional healing responses, promoting the growth of new, healthy tissue while encouraging the body to get rid of damaged tissue so tissue repairs are completed more quickly and more effectively.
There may be some mild discomfort, bruising or swelling at the site of injection, and where the blood was extracted, but these are temporary and will quickly resolve. PRP is performed on an outpatient basis, and patients can resume their normal activities afterward.