What is PRP?

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is the component of blood that contains a high concentration of platelets, which are a type of blood cell that play an important role in the body's healing and repair process. Platelets contain growth factors and other bioactive proteins that are important for tissue regeneration, healing, and stimulation of cell growth.

For decades, PRP therapy has been used for various medical conditions such as tendinitis, ligament injuries, osteoarthritis, and many other orthopedic conditions. It is primarily utilized for its ability to promote tissue regeneration and increase nutrient supply to treated cells, which has been beneficial in fields such as Sports Medicine, Neurosurgery, Dermatology, and Plastic Surgery. Many years of clinical research has led to its adoption within the field of Hair Restoration, allowing it to be used either as a standalone treatment or adjunctive therapy for thousands of patients.

How is the treatment performed?

A small blood sample is gathered from the patient and placed into a device known as a double spin centrifuge. The machine spins the sample around thousands of times per minute, and the centrifugal force acting upon the blood separates it into its central components: red blood cells, white blood cells, and a golden layer of platelet-rich plasma. Once the PRP is gathered from the sample, it is combined with bioactive proteins and ‘activated’ in order to stimulate cellular activity once the plasma is introduced to the scalp. Components and extracellular matrices such as ACell may also be added to enhance the efficacy of PRP and stimulate further activity.

After the plasma has been prepared, the patient's scalp is numbed with local anesthesia and the PRP is injected subdermally into the affected areas. Emphasis is placed on areas of greatest concern to the patient, with the PRP being distributed as broadly or centrally as the patient desires. The most important element is that it be introduced to wherever there are weakened hair follicles so that the plasma can work to increase nutrient supply and stimulate cellular activity. After all the PRP has been utilized, the final step is a light microneedling across the scalp to initiate an inflammatory response within the treated areas.

This is an outpatient procedure that can be performed in as little as 30 minutes to an hour. No significant downtime should be anticipated with this procedure, Mild soreness and redness may be experienced within the first 24 hours after the treatment is completed. The patient should immediately be able to return to normal daily activities, and results may be witnessed within a matter of weeks.

What is ACell?

ACell is an animal-derived Extracellular Matrix (ECM) tissue-regenerating technology that has been used extensively in the fields of medicine and surgery to stimulate stem cells and enhance wound healing. Its rise in popular culture was accelerated as people with partial finger amputations were able to actually grow back their fingertips (often with the fingernail bed) by using this product. It has also been noted that the use of ACell in wound healing dramatically decreases the appearance of scar tissue in a wound. ACell is a “bio-scaffold” that helps the body heal without excessive scarring.

How are ACell and other ECM’s used in Hair Restoration?

Acell is used in combination with Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) therapy to enhance the growth of new hair in hair restoration. The procedure is performed by taking a small sample of the patient's blood and processing it to obtain a concentrated mixture of platelets and growth factors. Acell is then added to this mixture and is then injected into the scalp in the areas of hair loss .Acell is proposed to work by providing a scaffold for the growth of new cells and tissue in the scalp, while the platelets and growth factors in the PRP promote the growth of new blood vessels and stimulate the hair follicles to grow new hair.

How often does it need to be done?

PRP treatments are typically performed in a series of three procedures, with 4 to 8 weeks between each procedure. This closeness of activity is done to compound the benefits of PRP and promote longer term benefits beyone the initial treatments. Results from the procedures are typically seen within 1-3 months, Additional treatments classified as “maintinence procedures” may be necessary to maintain results from the initial series of treatments. Some patients choose to have maintinence sessions every 3 to 4 months, while others would have them performed on a semiannual or annual basis.

PRP is also often combined with hair transplantation surgery in order to enhance results and promote wound healing. Incisions made during the procedure would be concurrently treated with PRP, which can help minimize the amount of scar tissue formed. A PRP treatment performed during a hair transplant may be considered the first in a series of three, with the remaining treatments continued 4-8 weeks apart. Many patients continue to utilize PRP treatments after their hair transplants to maintain results and enhance the growth of surrounding non-transplanted hairs.


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