What is PRP for and how is it used at the Istituto di Cura Città di Pavia

What is PRP for and how is it used at the Istituto di Cura Città di Pavia

Publication date: 19-03-2024

Updated on: 19-03-2024

Topic: Dermatology, Orthopedics, Urology

Estimated reading time: 2 min

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) is obtained from the patient's own autologous blood, by a venous sampling. Its use for non-transfusion purposes has been growing for several years, with applications in orthopedics, urology, dermatology and aesthetic medicine.

Dr. Francesca De Caro (orthopedic specialist), Dr. Dimitrios Choussos (urology specialist), Dr. Alessia Dossena (vascular surgery and aesthetic medicine specialist) and Dr. Chiara Lovati (dermatology specialist) introduce various applications of this method at l’Istituto di Cura Città di Pavia.

About PRP and how it works

PRP is obtained by a centrifugation process of the patient's own blood in which platelets, rich in regenerating and growth factors that play a crucial role in tissue repair and recovery, are separated. This platelet concentrate (PRP) is injected into the area to be treated to stimulate the natural healing processes.

PRP works by triggering a biological response in the body. Platelets, when concentrated and injected into the damaged area or area to be healed, release a series of growth factors that promote cell regeneration and formation of new blood vessels. This process accelerates healing and reduces recovery time.

Platelet-rich plasma is a promising approach in regenerative medicine, taking advantage of the body's natural resources to enhance healing. However, as with any treatment, it is important to rely on the advice of the specialist to evaluate the potential benefits and risks associated with the use of this advanced method.

What PRP is used for

The application of Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) is quite diverse. Studies have proved that it is useful for various body areas to:

  • promote tissue regeneration;
  • improve skin elasticity.

In addition, its use also favors the healing of various musculoskeletal disorders.

A PRP treatment is carried out in the following ways

The patient nominated for such treatment will first undergo a simple blood sampling, which, once collected, will be processed in a centrifuge to separate out the platelets. Finally, the obtained PRP is injected into the target area. The treatment is generally well tolerated and takes little time.

Prior to starting the procedure, it will be sufficient to do a platelet count by CBC to define whether an individual is eligible.

The areas of PRP treatment application

The areas of PRP treatment application are the following:

  • orthopedics;
  • urology;
  • aesthetic medicine and dermatology.

In Orthopedics

The use of PRP in orthopedics focuses on stimulating the body's natural healing processes to improve joint function, reduce pain, and accelerate recovery. The effectiveness of this approach may vary from person to person, and its specific application is closely related to the nature and severity of the orthopedic condition being treated. An experienced orthopedist can assess the patient's clinical condition and determine whether PRP treatment is appropriate or not.

Specifically in the orthopedics, PRP is used for:

  • tendon injuries: recommended for treatment of tendinous injuries such as, for example, tendonitis. By injecting PRP directly into the affected area, tissue repair is stimulated and symptoms related to inflammation are reduced;
  • osteoarthritis, a degenerative condition of the joints. PRP can be used to reduce pain and improve joint function, in addition, its regenerative effect can help to slow down the progression of the disease;
  • muscle injuries: athletes and active individuals who suffer muscle injuries, such as strains or sprains, may benefit from PRP treatment. Platelets help boost the repair of damaged muscle tissue, accelerating the recovery process;
  • orthopedic surgery: in some cases, PRP can be used as an addition to orthopedic surgery. For example, it can be applied during ligament reconstruction surgeries or after cartilage repair surgery to accelerate healing.

In Urology

PRP treatment in the urology particularly focuses on elimination of 2 pathologies:

  • erectile dysfunction: infiltration of platelet gruel into the corpora cavernosa of the penis facilitates and improves the ability to erect and enhances sensitivity, due to the process of regenerative stimulation of the vascular system in that area;  
  • penile plastic induratio (curved penis): PRP improves penile deformities (penile curvature) and reduces pathology-related pain already after the first 4 infiltrations. Infiltrations of platelet gruel are injected directly into the penis; the procedure is safe and well tolerated by patients.

In Aesthetic Medicine and Dermatology

Aesthetic medicine is perhaps the best-known practice for the use of PRP, thanks to media coverage of celebrities who have undergone such treatment. In fact, it is very popular for:

  • enhancing skin texture and for stretch marks;
  • smoothing skin roughness (particularly of the periocular area, face and neck);
  • biorevitalization and lipofiller treatments.

In general, it is the anti-aging and skin rejuvenation effect that is the real advantage of this innovative treatment. The specialist will assess how to proceed in the treatment depending on the general condition of an individual and the area on which to focus the infiltrations.

In dermatology, PRP is among the possible therapies for the treatment of:

  • alopecia;
  • skin pigmentation;
  •  lichen.

Its use in trichology is especially effective for alopecia at an early stage or in cases of mild thinning of the hair. This type of treatment consists of actual injections of platelets into the scalp that stimulate the growth factors of the hair follicles, aiming to regain normal hair density.

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