Dr. Daniel E. Rousso just returned from two meetings recently, the American Academy of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS)
WHAT IS PLATELET RICH PLASMA (PRP) THERAPY?
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a concentrate of platelets, growth factors and bioactive proteins that is derived from your own blood. PRP is developed from autologous blood and contains an increased concentration of platelets and platelet derived growth factors as (PDGF-aa), transforming growth factor beta (TFG-b), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and epithelial growth factor (EGF). These growth factors assist in tissue regeneration and healing. PRP therapy offers a promising solution to slow hair loss and promote hair growth. Because PRP is derived from autologous blood, it is inherently safe and free from transmissible disease such as HIV or hepatitis.
HOW DO YOU PERFORM THE PROCEDURE?
A small amount of blood is drawn from the arm. This blood is spun several times in a centrifuge to isolate and save the platelet rich plasma. The centrifugation process takes approximately 30 minutes and is a closed sterile system. Prior to injection, the scalp is numbed with a local anesthetic. The concentrated blood containing 4x the number of platelets and growth factors is then injected into the scalp. The injections are performed with a small needle and can target areas of hair loss.
WHAT DO I DO AFTER THE PROCEDURE?
The patient rests for 5 minutes after the procedure while the scalp is gently cleaned. Increased pain, pressure, or discomfort in the scalp may result for 48-72 hours after the PRP therapy. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g, Ibuprofen, diclofenac, Aspirin) should be avoided for the first 48 hours following PRP treatment. Tylenol, rest and ice can be used for post-injection pain.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT AFTER THE PROCEDURE?
The patient typically experiences slowing of hair loss and new hair growth approximately 3-6 months after PRP treatment. The recommended course consists of three PRP injections 4-6 weeks apart and then one injection 6 months afterwards. PRP treatments are not a “cure” for hair loss. Patients must undergo “Booster” PRP treatments every 6-12 months to maintain results. Many patients choose to continue PRP therapy every 6 months.