What we may know as blood - the red stuff that courses through our veins is in actuality a complex mixture that includes red blood cells, plasma, and platelets. Each component in blood has it's own important job but one of the new uses today is Platelet Rich Plasma, also known as PRPs. The efficacy of PRPs' being used to treat injuries and now in cosmetic procedures is still unknown but current data has been favorable.
Recently seen on The Doctors, a patient suffering from chronic tendonitis received PRP Therapy to treat her chronic pain from what has been called "Jumper's Knee," a condition that can develop after undergoing ACL surgery. While traditional treatments have included icing, heat, physical therapy and steroid shots, PRP Therapy is a new treatment that might offer healing factors to stimulate the body's own healing to eradicate the pain that traditional treatment could only mask.
The use of PRP Therapy has moved from treatment of sports injuries to the cosmetic and aesthetic sphere. As Newport Beach cosmetic surgeon Dr. Thomas Barnes says, "The PRP found in patient's blood and stem cells work together to enhance healing and rejuvenation of virtually any body tissue. In cosmetic surgery, we are simply focusing your body's natural healing capacity to help rejuvenate your skin: including sun damage, acne scars, lines and wrinkles, pore size, and faster healing after any surgical procedure."
As described by Dr. Barnes and seen on The Doctors, the retrieval of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is simple - blood is drawn from the patient which is then spun in a centrifuge to separate out the plasma which is rich with healing platelets from the red blood cells. The platelet-laden plasma is then directly injected into the site to best utilize the healing power of the platelets.
According to Dr. Barnes, the body naturally sends platelets when there is any type of injury in the body to promote clots and release growth factors to cause the tissue to regenerate. Based on this science, Dr. Barnes has used concentrated PRPs in injection or a topical form to treat or improve a myriad of cosmetic procedures including facial rejuvenation, addressing hair loss, improving healing after laser skin resurfacing, liposuction or facelifts.
"This new field of medicine (cell therapy) relates not only to cosmetic surgery and rejuvenation but it's impact on diseases, pain from muscle & joint injuries, is still to be determined in the near future as more important data becomes available to mainstream medicine," states Dr. Barnes, "I teach these latest techniques based on cell therapy medicine and natural healing to physicians and surgeons who use these techniques for both rejuvenation and to ease the pain and disability associated with joint and muscle injuries."