Platelet-Rich Plasma: What It Is, Purposes and Possible Complications

With improvements in medical research, health professionals are learning more effective treatments and the inherent powers of the human body. Platelet-rich injections are becoming increasingly popular due to their numerous benefits, including minimal risks. PRP Reston harnesses the body’s natural healing ability, helping you achieve total rejuvenation. Read on to learn about this regenerative technology.

What is platelet-rich plasma?

PRP is plasma with a higher count range of platelets than what is normally found in the blood.  Platelets are known for their clotting abilities but are also rich in growth factors. Therefore, these blood cells can trigger cell reproduction and stimulate tissue or healing in the treated area. Platelet-rich plasma is simply blood with a platelet count range that is higher than usual.

To create platelet-rich plasma, blood is drawn from your body and then placed in a centrifuge. This device rapidly spins the sample to separate other blood components from the platelets. The clinician then draws off blood plasma rich in platelets for therapeutic use. Before use, the clinician adds an activating agent such as calcium chloride to activate the platelets and release their content.

Applications for platelet-rich plasma injections

Platelet-rich plasma is usually injected into the target area, such as an injured shoulder or tendon. Sometimes your healthcare provider may use ultrasound to guide the injection to the precise location. The high concentration of cytokines and growth factors in the platelets helps repair damaged tissue and encourage healing.

The mechanism behind PRP injections is unclear, but according to studies, the growth factors initiate and enhance psychological processes that stimulate tissue recovery and healing after an injury.

Healthcare providers use platelet-rich injections to treat various conditions – from musculoskeletal pain to injuries and cosmetic procedures. Examples of musculoskeletal injuries and conditions that may benefit from PRP injections include tennis elbow; this often takes a long to heal, but adding PRP shots to the treatment plan can stimulate the healing process.

PRP injections are also used to speed up healing after a jaw or plastic surgery; these procedures are known for notoriously long recovery times.

What are the potential risks of PRP injections?

A PRP injection is a low-risk procedure and is not expected to cause allergies, hypersensitivity, or risk of cross-infection. Because the procedure involves a blood draw, ensure you are hydrated and have eaten beforehand so you don’t feel lightheaded afterward. It is normal to experience some soreness and bruising at the injection site after the procedure, but this often fades away quickly. Less common complications of PRP injections include nerve damage, tissue damage, bleeding, and infection.

Sterile techniques must be used at every stage of preparation and application, especially if an underlying medical issue predisposes a patient to infection.

While PRP injections are generally safe, some medical conditions are a contraindication to using PRP. They include sepsis, acute and chronic infections, low platelet count, chronic liver disease, hypofibrinogenaemia, and hemodynamic instability.

If you have further questions about PRP injections, consult your healthcare provider at Rostami OPC. 

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