DR MAY Marr, a member of the Royal Australian College of Physicians, talks about a new treatment, Platelet Rich Plasma Procedure, that is being used in facial rejuvenation.
Q: Can you tell us what PRP Procedure is for?
A: PRP stands for platelet rich plasma. Platelets are those cells that circulate within the blood and are responsible for wound healing and clot formation.
Concentrated platelets contain special growth factors that initiate new blood vessel formation and connective tissue repair.
PRP has been in use in plastic and reconstructive surgery to accelerate healing, reduce bruising and shorten the recovery period.
In the medical setting, PRP is used to promote healing in ulcerated wounds and to treat sports injuries.
For cosmetic purposes it can be used in facial rejuvenation (facial lines, volume loss, skin tone and texture improvement) and is also used in the treatment of acne scars, stretch marks, baldness and saggy skin.
In my experience, I find PRP works best in the neck and decolletage areas, which are typically difficult to rejuvenate non-surgically.
I also use PRP in combination with collagen induction therapies, either with a resurfacing laser or electronic needling to enhance the results obtained from these modalities.
Q: What happens in the treatment?
A: During a typical treatment, blood is collected from the patient and then spun in a centrifuge to concentrate the blood plasma.
The platelet rich plasma is then injected into the treatment area to stimulate the body to produce new collagen and hyaluronic acid.
Depending on the areas being treated, different amounts of plasma will need to be collected. During the procedure, a numbing cream is applied to the areas to be treated.
Patients should expect slight bruising, swelling and redness after the procedure. Any side effects tend to settle over the course of 24 hours.
Q: What kind of results can patients expect?
A: Patients typically see some results within two to three weeks after their first treatment, but optimum results are obtained after a course of three treatments spaced four weeks apart.
Results will continue to improve over the course of a few months.
Q: Is it completely safe and how long does it last?
A: Because the raw material (blood) is taken from the patient's own body, PRP is considered safe as there is no risk of allergic reaction or risk of disease transmission.
There are really no significant side effects.
The longevity of the results depends on the age of the patient, their general health and the condition of their skin.
Generally a repeat treatment after one year is recommended.
Q: Who is it suitable for?
A: Patients ranging from their teens to octogenarians are suitable for this procedure, both in cosmetic or reconstructive procedures.
Q: Can you give us an idea of the cost?
A: Cost depends on the number of vials used.
For facial rejuvenation, two vials are required. Cost is $300 per vial.
GETTING IT DONE
- Platelet rich plasma procedure, for facial rejuvenation poses no risk of allergic reaction or disease transmission.
- Treatment lasts about one year and the cost starts at $300.
- Always check that your cosmetic physician is a fully qualified member of a registered association.
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