Platelet Rich Plasma: The Latest in Healing, Recovery, and Beauty

by Dr. Beverly R. Goode-Kanawati

What is Platelet Rich Plasma? This is the use of the patient's own blood and their own growth factors to heal parts of the body. A small amount of blood is drawn-just like when you get a blood test done. This blood is spun in a centrifuge where it separates into three different levels. The red cells are on the bottom, the middle layer consists of platelets (whitish color), and the top layer is the serum (clear, slightly yellow).

These platelets contain a number of growth factors that, when released, cause an immediate healing reaction that continues for weeks and even months. This means that when injected there can be healing of chronic injuries, such as tendon injuries, arthritic joints, as well as tears of muscles, and even the labral tears! When injected in the face and used as a topical with micro needling, the skin revives, lifts, and becomes more youthful!

PRP Facial Treatments

I have always been interested in aesthetics and gone to many meetings, lectures and read a lot about it over the last 15 or more years. Though of interest, I never felt comfortable doing any of these procedures or practices in my office, as they always seemed to be a treatment that burned, disrupted collagen, involved injections of chemicals and other foreign substances, some of them toxins. Then I discovered Platelet Rich Plasma treatments.

When injected in the face and used as a topical with micro-needling, the skin revives, lifts, and becomes more youthful! Micro-needling is where very small needles are used to make micro-channels into the skin where several things happen. First, the needles themselves produce a healing reaction and then, when the Platelet Rich Plasma is applied into the micro-channels, the skin rejuvenates in a way we never thought possible!

Take the case of "Ruth," a 60-plus woman, who wanted very much to have a lift in the chin and a smoothing and lifting of the deep lines in her face. But she was insistent that she wanted nothing chemical injected, nor did she want a treatment that burned or disrupted collagen. So when we discussed PRP, she was in!

About four weeks after the treatment, "Ruth's" friends and family started telling her she was looking really good, even great. Some swore she must have lost weight. None suspected that she had anything "done." She had soothing of the deep lines, fading of smaller wrinkles and a lifting of the skin under the chin. She was thrilled!

PRP Treatments for Joints

Let's take the case of Rick. Rick is a hard- working man in his 40s, working for a major shipping company. Part of his job is physical and was more so in the past, but now he mostly sits behind a desk. In the past he enjoyed body building as a sport and did very well. Now his joints are feeling the strain of his past activities. There are arthritic changes in his knees and tears in the muscles and tendons of the shoulders. He was told he needed surgery for the knees and shoulders! He decided to have PRP treatments, even though he doubted anything other than sur- gery would be effective. After the first treatment he noticed a big change. His pain was maybe a quarter of what he had! With subsequent treat- ments these areas are getting better and better. His only problem, is remembering that he had a problem in the knees and shoulder so that he doesn't overdo it!

Expanding What We Do

It is an interesting and rewarding experi- ence for me to continue to assess procedures and healing possibilities for our clients. PRP, for example, has been used for a very long time, but recently we've become more aware of its healing potential-inside and out. New staff members, such as Sandy Britt, come to us with consider- able understanding and experience with new methods and technologies that are of benefit to our patients. We blend critical basic understand- ing of products and procedures with expanding knowledge, always with the goal of enhancing the health of each and all of our patients

Originally published in Health & Healing in the Triangle, Vol. 19, No. 6, Health & Healing, Inc., Chapel Hill, NC, publishers. Reprinted with permission.

Platelet Rich Plasma: The Latest in Healing, Recovery, and Beauty PDF