How is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) prepared?
Platelets for PRP are derived from a patient’s own blood:
- Blood is withdrawn from a patient using a syringe, as other blood draws.
- The tube containing the blood is placed in a centrifuge and spun.
This spinning process separates the red / white blood cells and platelets and concentrates them at various levels in the tubes.
Blood plasma that is rich in platelets is drawn off from the appropriate level and after being activated it is injected back into the patient’s scalp.
PRP in Hair Transplantation
PRP can have 2 different uses for hair:
- Used as a treatment option to promote hair growth and decrease hair loss in patients who choose not to have hair transplantation or are not good candidates for it. This treatment is generally repeated once or twice per year to maintain benefit.
- Used in conjunction with hair transplantation surgery to achieve a better graft survival and therefore ultimately better results. This method only requires one injection at the time of the hair Transplantation.
In our clinic we mainly use it in conjunction with hair transplantation to promote graft survival in patients that we suspect may have poor results or healing (for example smokers or diabetic patients).
In using PRP to promote hair growth to combat hair loss and better results after hair transplantation we hope to:
- Preserve hair follicle viability during and after hair transplantation;
- Promote tissue repair and healing after hair transplantation; and,
- Reinvigorate dormant hair follicles and stimulate new hair growth.
Is PRP Approved by the United States FDA?
The use of PRP for hair restoration does not require FDA approval, just as the use of blood transfusion during or after surgery does not require FDA approval.
However, In the United States, the device used to prepare PRP must have FDA approval. Centrifuges that separate PRP from whole blood for a medical purpose (e.g., to assist tissue healing) are medical devices covered by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act.
PRP is in no way a medical cure for baldness or a miracle treatment for hair loss
At Armani Medical, Dr. Abraham Armani’s clinic was the first to use PRP for Hair Restoration in Texas almost 7 years ago.
There have never been large clinical studies for the use of PRP for hair and therefore no solid evidence actual results other than positive observations but clinicians.
I use an analogy comparing use of PRR for hair with use of fertilizer for a lawn. If you have weak grass the fertilizer will help nourish the grass and make it healthier, however, if you have dead grass, fertilizer will do nothing for it and you better save your money!