Platelet Rich Plasma
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is exactly what the name suggests: a by-product of blood (plasma) that is rich in platelets. This technology allows Dr. Manuel La Rosa to offer his patients an opportunity to enhance and greatly accelerate their healing process.
PRP permits the body to take advantage of the normal healing pathways at a greatly accelerated rate. During the healing process, the body rushes many cells and cell-types to the wound in order to initiate the healing process. One of those cell types are platelets. Platelets perform many functions, including formation of a blood clot and release of growth factors into the wound. These growth factors function to assist the body in repairing itself by stimulating stem cells to regenerate new tissue. The more growth factors released sequestered into the wound, the more stem cells stimulated to produce new host tissue. Thus, one can easily see that PRP permits the body to heal faster and more efficiently.
Until now, the use of PRP has been confined to the hospital setting. This was due mainly to the cost of separating the platelets from the blood (thousands) and the large amount of blood needed (one unit) to produce a suitable quantity of platelets. New technology permits the doctor to harvest and produce a sufficient quantity of platelets from a small amount of blood drawn from the patient while they are having surgery in office.
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Advantages of PRP
Safety: PRP is a by-product of the patient’s own blood, therefore, disease transmission is not an issue.
Convenience: PRP can be generated in the doctor’s office while the patient is undergoing an outpatient surgical procedure, such as placement of dental implants.
Faster Healing: The super saturation of the wound with PRP, and thus growth factors, produces an increase of tissue synthesis and thus faster tissue regeneration.
Cost Effectiveness: Since PRP harvesting is done with a small amount of blood in the doctor’s office, the patient need not incur the expense of the harvesting procedure in hospital or at the blood bank.
Ease of Use: PRP is easy to handle and actually improves the ease of application of bone substitute materials and bone grafting products by making them more gel-like.
Frequently Asked Questions About PRP
Is PRP safe? Yes. During the outpatient surgical procedure a small amount of your own blood is drawn out via the IV. This blood is then placed in the PRP centrifuge machine and spun down. In less than 15 minutes, the PRP is formed and ready to use.
Should PRP be used in all bone-grafting cases? Not always. In some cases, there is no need for PRP. However, in the majority of cases, application of PRP to the graft will increase the final amount of bone present in addition to making the wound heal faster and more efficiently.
Can PRP be used alone to stimulate bone formation? No. PRP must be mixed with either the patient’s own bone or a bone substitute material.
Are there any contraindications to PRP? Very few such as patients with bleeding disorders or hematologic diseases do not qualify for this in-office procedure.