Protein Rich Plasma Treatments (PRP)
At Southwest Plastic Surgery, we are proud to offer the latest treatments available for our patients. Protein Rich Plasma introduces the use of your own growth factors to improve your own skin and hair. PRP can be used in several ways:
- PRP to treat hair loss
- PRP for facial rejuvenation
- Protein Rich Plasma Consultation
What is PRP?
PRP, which stands for Platelet-Rich Plasma, is an autologous preparation of platelets, taken from the same person who is undergoing the procedure. Plasma is a yellow colored component of blood which contains white blood cells (responsible for the body’s defense mechanism) and platelets. Platelets are small cells in the blood which are primarily responsible for the formation of blood clots after injuries such as cuts and scrapes. Platelets are formed in the bone marrow. An excess of platelet production can lead to an increased risk of blood clots forming in the blood stream, but the true danger lies in a deficiency of platelets, which can lead to excessive bleeding.
PRP Treatment for Hair Loss
At Southwest Plastic Surgery, Dr. Agullo and Dr. Palladino use the latest and most advanced technologies in Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Treatment to treat hair loss in both men and women.
Although there are several surgical procedures such as transplants, which are commonly used to treat hair loss, not all patients are suitable candidates for these procedures. Southwest Plastic Surgery recommend medical or non-surgical treatments for such individuals and the use of PRP is one of them. As an aside, PRP is also used commonly in facial rejuvenation procedures and combined with hair transplantation procedures to improve graft take and graft growth.
How Does PRP Treat Hair Loss?
In hair loss conditions such as AGA, there is a lack of blood supply to the hair follicles, due to the presence of hormones such as DHT. In such cases, the hair will become weak as it does not receive essential nutrients. PRP is injected directly into the scalp and stimulates the stem cells in the Dermal Papillae (structures which extend from the dermis into the epidermis and nourish the hair follicles) and other parts of the hair follicles. The growth factors inside the PRP are eventually released and encourage healing and repair inside the scalp. When the hair follicles receive the necessary nutrients, fuller and thicker growth of the hair is promoted.
PRP contains cytokines, which enhance healing. Recent advancements and new research in the field of hair loss has shown that PRP wakes up inactive hair follicles, thereby encouraging hair growth. PRP is most effective in treating areas of the scalp where significant hair thinning has occurred or where hair miniaturization is evident, as compared to those regions which are completely bald. PRP is prepared by extracting a small amount of blood from the patient’s body, and then using a centrifuge to isolate the platelets.The prepared PRP is then mixed with calcium and/or thrombin to stimulate the platelets and then injected into the scalp. The treatment is repeated every four to six months.
At Southwest Plastic Surgery, Dr. Agullo and Dr. Palladino take the utmost care to ensure that PRP treatments are performed according to the highest standards of safety and care. Both doctors have performed several procedures, published multiple internationally acclaimed papers and received awards from their peers for the quality of their practice and the individualized care which they provide their patients.
PRP for the Face
They say ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’. While that may be true, most people, particularly women, will acquiesce to the fact that an elegant and graceful passage into middle or old age is undoubtedly beautiful and highly coveted. But, it is also an elusive blessing that is quite often denied to the aging and hopeful individual, by the cruel and powerful forces of nature.
At Southwest Plastic Surgery in El Paso, Texas, award winning Doctors Frank Agullo and Humberto Palladino understand your need to look youthful. They know how important it is for you to have the features that make people’s heads turn, even when you’re older. Among the most prominent signs of aging they encounter, is the loosening and darkening of facial skin. This has the effect of making the face look old and lifeless. And this is precisely why, Dr. Agullo and Dr. Palladino use PRP Treatment to restore the youthful and lively look of your face.
PRP Treatment for Facial Rejuvenation
What is PRP?
PRP is an acronym for Platelet-Rich Plasma. Before the details of PRP are explained, it is appropriate that certain other terms are also made clear. Plasma is the liquid component of blood and is protein-salt solution. 92 percent of blood plasma is composed of water and the remaining components are red and white blood cells, as well as platelets. Approximately half the volume of human blood is plasma. The proteins in plasma are albumin (major constituent), fibrinogen (responsible for blood clotting) and globulin (carries antibodies).
Platelets are small cells in the blood which are responsible for growth factors and healing. The most evident function of platelets is to form a blood clot when the skin is injured due to cuts or scrapes in order to stop bleeding. Platelets are produced by the bone marrow and in case the bone marrow does not produce a sufficient amount of platelets (such as in thrombocytopenia patients) immense bleeding is caused when the skin is wounded.
PRP is prepared by drawing a sample of the patient’s own blood, prior to the treatment. The sample is placed in a centrifuge, which spins at high speeds and causes separation of the platelet-rich plasma from other components of the blood. This PRP can then be administered.
PRP has several benefits over other commonly used surgical procedures.
- There is no chance of an immunogenic reaction or a disease being transmitted, since the donor platelets being used belong to the patient himself.
- Studies have also shown that any cancerous skin growth or tumor formation are very unlikely with PRP.
- PRP can be effectively used for the treatment of inflammation and post-operative bleeding.
- It can be used to treat infections.
- It can alleviate pain, as well as heal wounds and damaged tissue.
What is Facial Rejuvenation?
Facial Rejuvenation is the name given to a set of surgical procedures whereby the youthful look of the face is restored. The entire treatment typically includes a series of surgeries which revive the geometry, skin texture and tone of the face. Usually, a facial rejuvenation encompasses one or multiple brow lifts, lightening of eye bags and eyelid lifts, and elimination of old age spots, wrinkles (a procedure known as rhytidectomy), fine lines, skin sagging, chin lift, facial hairline restoration as well as chemical peeling (which removes dead skin cells).
PRP is one of the most popular and effective treatments used for facial rejuvenation. It offers a gradual and natural, but noticeable change in facial skin and overall appearance with time.
How Does PRP For Facial Rejuvenation Work?
Platelets contain Platelet Derived Growth Factors (PDGFs). These are responsible for stimulating the production of fibroblasts (a type of stem cell which synthesizes the extra-cellular matrix and collagen), keratinocytes (which produce collagen and keratin, key elements which make up the composition of human skin) and hyaluronan. Collagen is known to be effective in reducing the appearance of wrinkles and hyaluronan, or hyaluronic acid, is present in connective tissue and improves skin tone and texture. By injecting PRP into the affected area, the skin is healed, its look is aesthetically enhanced and your face appears younger and invigorated.
The effects of a Facial Rejuvenation are different from those of a face lift surgery. While the latter is used primarily to deal with age effects by removing excessive skin from the face, the former is used to encourage the skin to heal itself by using blood plasma from the donor’s body. This adds vigor, volume and life to your face and the results become noticeable within a few weeks following the procedure, and continue to improve over the next 8 months. Dr. Agullo and Dr. Palladino also use PRP to improve scar healing during the recovery period after the surgery.
The results generally last about 2 years, depending on the age, skin type and general health of the patient. The procedure takes approximately 60 to 90 minutes and sometimes may require more than one session with the surgeon, spread over the course of a few weeks. Once again, this depends largely on your skin condition and personal goals.
What Are the Associated Risks?
One of the major benefits of PRP treatments is that they are inherently safe. Although there is very little risk of surgical complications, you still need to be aware of some of the possible dangers of undergoing this procedure. These include:
- Excessive bleeding
- Damage to sensitive nerves
- Pain and swelling in the treated region
- Allergic reactions
- Complications related to the administration of anesthesia
- Neurovascular injury
- Formation of scar tissue
- Calcification in the treated area
There are also certain contraindications for the use of PRP which include platelet dysfunction syndrome, thrombocytopenia, septicemia and infection at the treated region. However, these can be avoided by taking the right precautions, performing the treatment with adequately sterilized equipment and preparing properly for the surgery.
How Do I Prepare For a PRP Treatment?
Preparing appropriately for a PRP Treatment is very important. As explained previously, this is to avoid any surgical complications. At Southwest Plastic Surgery, when you schedule a consultation, Dr. Agullo and Dr. Palladino will discuss what you want to achieve through a PRP treatment. They will also consider your skin type, skin condition and health, before deciding if you are a suitable candidate for such a procedure. They encourage you to ask questions in order to quell any doubts which you may have concerning preparation, the surgery itself, the results and the recovery period. Once you and your surgeon are satisfied that you are a good candidate, a surgery date will be scheduled for you.
Prior to the surgery, you are recommended to have a blood test taken, in order to determine that you have no pre-existing diseases or conditions which could make the PRP autologous preparation more difficult. You should discontinue smoking at least two weeks prior to the surgery, since tobacco can impede the healing process and may actually cause bleeding. It is also recommended that you stop eating foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids. You should avoid the use of drugs such as aspirin and anti-inflammatory medicines. Finally, you should not eat or drink anything after midnight on the night before the surgery.
What is the Recovery Period Like for a PRP Treatment?
Following the surgery, you may experience some swelling and redness around the treated region for a few days, but this will subside with time. If it does not, you should immediately consult a doctor. It is best to avoid exposure to the sun for a few days following the procedure. The results of the surgery will be visible 3 to 4 weeks after the procedure and you may have to return to your surgeon for follow-up treatments, which are spaced a few weeks to a month apart.
Protein Rich Plasma Consultation
At Southwest Plastic Surgery, Dr. Agullo and Dr. Palladino use the latest and most advanced technology to perform PRP Treatment procedures, so you can rest assured that your surgery will be performed by true professionals who pay particular attention to patient care, safety and hygiene. The doctors like to stay in touch with their patients, particularly during the recovery phase of surgical procedures. They encourage you to come see them and ask questions, should the need arise. Southwest Plastic Surgery doctors also understand that not all patients are comfortable communicating in English and that is why both of them speak English and Spanish fluently; so speak easily and ask questions!
Although Southwest Plastic Surgery is located in El Paso, Texas, it serves cities in West Texas including Amarillo, Horizon City, Midland and Odessa. In New Mexico, it serves Las Cruces, Alamogordo, Albuquerque, Silver City and Ruidoso; in Northern Mexico, Chihuahua and Ciudad Juarez.