Platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy is an exciting new way for treating male and female patients suffering from hair loss who are not yet ready to have a hair transplant or are not the ideal candidates for a transplant. It can also be used in conjunction with a hair transplant because PRP therapy improves healing after surgery and enhances the results of the transplant. This type of therapy has also been used extensively in several surgical fields (such as neurosurgery, oral surgery and plastic surgery) to promote healing through tissue regeneration.
How Does PRP Therapy Work?
PRP therapy is performed by drawing a patient’s blood and then isolating the plasma, which is rich in platelets. These platelets contain many of the essential building blocks and vital growth factors that promote healing, and stimulate the stem cells that reside on the hair follicles. The PRP seems to stimulate the miniaturized hair follicles into an active growth cycle and causes the hair to become healthier and stronger. Medical research is now available that shows the benefits of PRP in hair restoration.
What is ACell and how does it work?
ACell is a medical product that is an acellular extracellular matrix and is rich in naturally occurring collagens and proteins. When ACell is placed into a wound, it stimulates adult stem cells in these tissues. This process causes the dormant follicular tissues to regenerate and improves the quality of hair. The ACell causes the stem cells to wake up (so to speak) and regenerate the surrounding tissue. When combined with PRP and injected into the thinning areas of the scalp, this matrix (along with the growth factors) causes the dormant hair follicles to be stimulated.
How is this therapy performed with ACell and PRP?
First, blood is drawn from the patient’s arm. This blood is spun down in a special centrifuge and the plasma is prepared. The ACell is then added to the PRP and prepared to inject into the patient’s scalp.
Local anesthesia is used to numb the scalp with a ring block. The preparation is then injected into the part of the scalp where hair thinning is occurring.
There may be some soreness of the scalp area for a few days after; then there is no further discomfort. It takes 4-8 months to see results after a procedure. Many physicians across the country are recommending about three treatments in a series.
PRP therapy can be prescribed by a doctor as part of an overall hair loss treatment regimen. It can be used alone or in conjunction with another hair restoration procedure or medication, and the procedure can be done before operation, during surgery or as a post-operative treatment.