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Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

Platelet rich plasma therapy is used to resolve pain, promote hair growth and treat injured tissues. It also helps in the healing process, say experts in the medical industry who are looking at it as a future course of treatment for ailments.

PRP (platelet rich plasma) is a novel treatment using the patient’s own blood to extract platelets for treating various clinical conditions. It is done by drawing the patient’s blood and spinning the blood in a device called a centrifuge machine. This separates the components of blood into plasma and cell fractions. The platelets are then extracted from the plasma fraction. The enriched platelet fraction is injected locally to obtain the desired clinical results.

It is currently being used for hair loss treatments, orthopaedic treatments, hair transplants, diabetic foot, chronic wounds and venous ulcers. Research studies and clinical practice have shown PRP therapy to be very effective at relieving pain and treating injured tissues before the damage progresses and the condition is irreversible.

Initial results are promising
PRP procedures in the city are largely being used for cosmetic purposes like hair loss and hair transplant treatments. The results have been very good for these cases but there is a need for more studies as far as other parts of the body are concerned.

Dr Rajesh Vasu, aesthetic plastic surgeon at Century Hospitals said, “For hair loss treatments, the procedure is repeated three to four times or even more to achieve better results. In cases of diabetic ulcers, the procedure may be repeated often as the results take time. But it is being viewed as the treatment of the future as there are a lot of advantages and surgery in some cosmetic procedures can be avoided.”

The blood taken from a person is injected back in the form of concentrated platelets. This is done by spinning the blood in a machine called centrifuge. The blood spins at a very high speed. Once the blood is centrifuged and its components separated the platelet rich fraction is obtained from the plasma component. The small platelet fraction containing enriched platelets and its growth factors are treated with calcium chloride or carbonate to activate growth factors.

PRP is not good for diabetics, kidney ailments
Platelet rich plasma is nothing but whole blood without red cells. Normal blood contains red cells, platelets and plasma. When the red cells are removed it is called PRP. Historically, PRP has been used to treat patients with low platelets for different reasons to support them to combat bleeding complications.
But presently, it is also being used for novel treatment methods.

Dr Padmaja Lokireddy, consultant haemato oncology and stem cell transplant at Apollo Hospitals said, “PRP therapy in tendon repair has failed to produce statistically significant benefits to apply it as a part of standard care. Injecting blood back into the scalp has shown that the risks are minimal. But injecting into pancreas or kidney is risky.”

Experts also say that the more times needles are inserted into joints, the more the chances of infection. Dr Lokireddy adds, “Platelets are kept at 22ºC which makes it a good media for bacterial growth. For this reason, one has to be careful while injecting it in diabetic and kidney patients.”

 

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) 

Deccan Chronicle. KANIZA GARARI 

published Jun 13, 2016

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