Whole blood is composed of three primary constituents: Red Blood Cells (RBCs), White Blood Cells (WBCs), and Plasma. The function of the RBCs is to carry and transport oxygen (they are important for endurance athletes). WBCs fight infection. Diseases like leukemia, lymphoma, and HIV stem from problems with the WBC. Within the plasma are small cells called platelets. The platelets are best known for their importance in clotting blood. However, platelets also contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors which are critically important in the healing of injuries.
PRP is plasma with many more platelets than what is typically found in whole blood. By drawing whole blood and putting it through a centrifugation process, we are able to concentrate the platelets. The concentration of platelets — and, thereby, the concentration of growth factors — can be 5 to 10 times greater (or richer) than usual.
To develop a PRP preparation, blood must first be drawn from a patient (usually between 30 and 60cc of whole blood). The platelets are separated from the other blood cells and their concentration is increased during a process called centrifugation (ie. spinning the blood). The final PRP product is separated and injected back into the patient at the source of injury, ultimately augmenting the natural healing response of the body while expediting recovery.
What Conditions Are Treated With PRP? Is It Effective?
PRP has been studied extensively over the past few years. There are hundreds of studies published that review its effectiveness and compare it to previously used “gold standards” (ex. corticosteroids). PRP has been shown to be effective for these conditions and many others:
Dr. Dold is widely considered an expert in PRP and other biologic therapies. These treatments are minimally invasive and can be performed in clinic, often negating the need for surgery. If you are considering PRP as a treatment option for you, please contact us for a consultation: 469.850.0680.