What Is Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)?
PRP is plasma with a higher concentration of platelets than what is typically found in blood. Although blood is mainly a liquid (plasma), it also contains small solid components: red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs) and platelets. Platelets are best known for their importance in clotting blood. In addition, platelets contain proteins called growth factors, which are important in the healing of injuries.
The concentration of platelets—and, thereby, the concentration of growth factors—is significantly increased in PRP as compared to regular plasma. PRP may help optimize the conditions for healing.
During the past several years, much has been written about PRP and its potential effectiveness in the treatment of injuries, such as ligament sprains or chronic tendon injuries. As the name suggests, PRP is simply the concentrated platelets and growth factors from a patient’s own blood.
How Is PRP Obtained?
To obtain PRP, blood is first drawn from a patient. The blood is then spun in a centrifuge where the platelets are separated from other blood components in order to increase their concentration. The concentrated platelets are then re-suspended in a fraction of the plasma after the centrifugation process.
Platelets are small, colorless, disk-shaped cell fragments lacking a nucleus that are found in blood and play an imperative role in clot formation. They also have antimicrobial properties that support healing, infection control and the release of growth factors. These growth factors orchestrate the key biological processes required for healing.
Plasma is a fluid component of blood that contains water, vital proteins, salts, minerals, sugars, fats, hormones and vitamins. PRP is plasma with a higher concentration of platelets than is generally found in blood.
Growth factors are necessary to initiate tissue repair at a wound site. Growth factors derived from platelets are responsible for soft tissue repair, bone regeneration, development of new blood vessels and stimulation of the wound healing process. The concentrated platelets in PRP may help optimize the conditions for healing.
What is PRP used to treat?
The use of PRP varies from procedure to procedure, but it is most widely used in patients who have an area of mild to moderate tissue degeneration. There are ongoing studies exploring expanded uses for PRP procedures.
Is the procedure covered by insurance?
Generally PRP procedures are not reimbursed. Insurance companies are all different and they have specific agreements with you as part of their group. LSPC does not submit to insurance but we aid you into self submitting your charges. We will not be the third party between you and your insurance since we are not contracted with any companies. If they choose to cover they will deal with you directly. At time of service, all procedure costs WILL BE paid by you as the patient in agreement with LSPC.
- Harvest Tech Patient Info – https://www.harvesttech.com/patient/patient-home/platelets/patient-faq-platelet-rich-plasma-prp
- Science Daily, 3/2/2016, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160302132531.htm
- Arthritis Health, 1/7/2014, http://www.arthritis-health.com/treatment/injections/platelet-rich-plasma-prp-therapy-arthritis
- PRP for Back Pain – Dr. Ross Hauser, Caring Medical, http://www.caringmedical.com/what-is-prolotherapy-with-platelet-rich-plasma/