Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy Virginia Beach, VA
Due to the high impact of hair on appearance, even normal age-related hair loss can be one of the most frustrating aesthetic problems to have. Alopecia, which can begin at any age and affect hair in many patterns, is often even more damaging to the self-esteem.
A recently-discovered treatment called platelet-rich plasma therapy offers a new method for treating alopecia and other non-genetic types of hair loss. Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, is the patient’s very own blood plasma that has been concentrated to contain up to five times the number of platelets found in normal blood. It also increased highly-increased quantities of important proteins like platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and transforming growth factor (TGF).
So how does this help treat hair loss? Platelets and the accompanying growth factors play a vital role in the beginning stages of wound healing. Applying PRP to an affected area of the body dramatically increases the amount of platelets in the area, which can accelerate healing in the region. The increased amount of platelets also promotes new cell growth and rapid formation of new blood vessels to supply fresh nutrients to the area. This can cause damaged and miniaturized hair follicles to become larger and healthier, producing more robust hair growth.
Platelet-rich plasma can be a good option for patients of any age, gender, or skin type who wish to regrow hair in areas afflicted with alopecia or who wish to improve the success rate of hair transplants. It is capable of treating both male and female patterns of hair loss as well as eyebrow hypotrichosis. Good candidates will have an understanding of what the procedure involves and of what can realistically be expected of the outcome. PRP therapy is a very safe procedure, but certain medical conditions such as blood disorders or chronic skin conditions may be problematic.
After your arrival at the Choe Center, a sample of blood will be taken and treated to extract the platelet-rich plasma. Once the blood has been prepared in a syringe for delivery, the procedure is ready to begin. You’ll be given the option of local anesthetics to numb your scalp, but most patients do not find the treatment to be particularly painful. Once your scalp has been numbed, if desired, the platelet-rich plasma will be injected into the treatment area using a very fine needle. The small size of the needle will minimize discomfort and bruising. The whole procedure is noninvasive and normally takes no more than 90 minutes.
Discomfort following PRP therapy is normally quite minimal and requires nothing more than over-the-counter analgesic medication like ibuprofen. The treatment area may swell slightly for a little while after the treatment, but this should resolve within 48 hours. Avoid vigorous activity until the swelling dies down, since the increased blood flow can exacerbate the problem. Feel free to wash your hair as normal following the procedure. Most patients feel comfortable returning to work the next day, and other normal activities like exercise can be resumed within 24 hours.
Q. When will I see results?
A. PRP therapy takes a little while to show visible results, since it works by repairing the underlying hair follicles. Some patients see new hair growth as early as 3 months after the procedure, but in most cases, it takes between 5 and 8 months to appear. Hair growth should continue to improve for up to a full year following treatment.
Q. How do you prepare the platelet-rich plasma?
A. Once the patient’s blood is drawn, it is spun rapidly in a centrifuge, which separates the heavier platelets from the thinner liquids in the blood. This platelet-rich plasma can then be drawn from the end of the tube where it is concentrated. Once the PRP is collected, it is then prepared in a syringe for injection.
Q. Are there any risks to this procedure?
A. Platelet-rich plasma is a very safe treatment. In particular, the fact that it is prepared from the patient’s own blood helps to insure minimal risks of infection or immune responses. There is a small risk of temporary numbness, however, and patients with certain blood or skin conditions should consult with Dr. Choe before beginning treatment.
Q. Can PRP treat any kind of hair loss?
A. Normally, platelet-rich plasma therapy is only used to treat non-genetic hair loss such as alopecia. In some cases, it can also be used to augment a hair transplant in order to increase the success rate of the grafts.
Q. How do I choose between platelet-rich plasma therapy and hair transplants?
A. For most patients, the primary difference is that hair transplants are a proven but invasive technique while PRP therapy is new and less tested but noninvasive. In some cases, the two techniques can be combined for increased effectiveness.