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PRP – Growth Factors Therapy

About PRP

Platelets’ (thrombocytes) healing properties are well known: they act as an intermediary that instigates the healing process in wounds or scars.  Similarly, platelets actively assist in the regeneration of cells.  Platelets contain an abundance of bioactive proteins (growth factors) and cytokines.  Through a process known as degranulation, these elements are released, attracting macrophages, mesenchymal stem cells and osteoblasts, which in turn are triggered promoting the removal of necrotic and degenerated tissue as well as contributing towards tissue regeneration and repair.

Autologous or Platelet-Rich Plasma is a substance (plasma) obtained and isolated following the centrifugation of blood.  PRP is activated with DNA activators (thrombin) and enriched with calcium ions (e.g. calcium chloride).

In hairloss, the intradermal application of plasma containing large amount of platelets, not only fortifies the hair follicle, thus ensuring its longevity and potency, but also reinvigorates dormant hair follicles and stimulates the growth of new hair.  When combined with hair transplantation, PRP promotes and enhances tissue repair, preserving and enhancing hair follicle viability.

 

History

PRP was initially developed in the 1970s.  Back in those days PRP went under names such as fibrin glue, platelet gel etc.  1987 is the year that PRP was first used after an open heart operation.  In the decades that follow, the medical community not only has recognized its enormous potential but as of the present moment application of PRP in numerous fields has been well documented.  It’s not so long ago the usefulness of PRP has been noted in the field of hair loss.

Suitable Patients:

In general, every healthy individual between 18 and 80 years of age can benefit from PRP; nevertheless, people who are dealing with the following conditions

●cancer and/or undergoing chemotherapy, ●chronic or acute infections, ●fever, ●sepsis, ●severe metabolic and/or system disorder, ●skin disease, ●anti coagulation therapies, ●chronic liver problems, ●recent use of corticosteroids, ● alopecia areata (controversial), ●autoimmune diseases (i.e. lupus, multiple sclerosis or scleroderma), ●pregnancy and breastfeeding, ●allergy to local anesthesia are cautioned against the treatment!

PRP is strongly recommended in situations that involve Androgenetic Alopecia, in Alopecia Areata, for Hair Transplant and as a preventative measure against hair loss.

 

Treatment

Only specialized physicians who previously have been trained are permitted to execute PRP procedure.

The procedure lasts approximately one hour.  Hygiene and safety is closely observed and monitored throughout the procedure.  PRP can be and is used in conjunction with other conservative hair loss treatments (i.e. minoxidil), or with DHI’s Direct Hair Implantation.  When used alongside a hair transplant procedure, PRP is applied to both the donor and recipient areas, mainly to enhance the development of recently implanted hairs in the recipient area and to spurt the regeneration of partially transected follicles in the donor area.

When PRP sessions are properly planned out and executed in a timely fashion they inhibit further loss of hair.

The procedure of a session

Step 1:  The doctor takes a small amount of blood from the patient, the amount is determined given the patient’s hair loss problem.  The amount of blood does not exceed 50 cc (50 ml).

Step 2:  The blood is then set in motion within a centrifuge apparatus, allowing the platelet enriched plasma to be separated from the rest of the blood components.  During this process there is a two to fourfold increase in the platelet                        content from the normal 150000m3-350000m3 (avg. 250000m3) to 1000000m3.

Step 3:  Centrifuged plasma is inserted in a syringe or mesotherapy gun.

Step 4:  Local anesthesia is applied in the area of interest, where hair loss is apparent and hair is sparse.

Step 5:  Calcium ions are then added so as to activate the platelets contained in the PRP.

Step 6:  Multiple intradermal injections are made on the scalp.

During the first year, three or so sessions are held which are repeated every 4 to 6 weeks.  Thereafter, sessions are scheduled once or twice a year for maintenance of the results.

 

Benefits when PRP is solely used:

PRP is regarded as a safe treatment with no contraindications.  Since one’s own blood is used during any PRP session, potential problems of rejection and allergies are practically eliminated.  Similarly, down time is minimal with no side effects, and results are immediate.

Benefits when PRP is used in hair transplant:

  1. Accelerates and enhances the healing process

  2. Reduces trauma, inflammation and erythema (redness)

  3. Reduces the formation of crust

  4. Reduces patients discomfort

  5. Scientists have observed acceleration in the growth and the revascularization of the follicles, while a noticeable increase in the size of follicles per unit.

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