If you’re interested in one of the most advanced medicines, no matter how deep you search, you’ll always find platelet-rich plasma treatment. That’s because, for the past three decades, it has had a vast application in so many medical fields. These fields include orthopedics, cardiac surgery, neurosurgery, oral surgery, cosmetics, periodontal implants, dentistry, etc. So naturally, this has intrinsically increased people’s interest in it.
It is a revolutionary treatment some people call a “modern miracle” because it differs considerably from old medical therapies. In addition, it is safe, natural, and superpowers the body’s natural healing capabilities. What more can anybody ask for as a treatment option other than platelet-rich plasma treatment?
This article will explore what you should know about platelet-rich plasma therapy in light of the increasing interest from patients worldwide. It’ll also discuss how it’s done and its patients’ pre and post-care steps.
On Platelet-rich Plasma Treatment
In simple terms, platelet-rich plasma treatment is a medical treatment that stimulates the healing properties in a patient’s blood to enhance recovery from several health issues, especially injuries around the tendons, joints, ligaments, and muscles. As mentioned earlier, the application of platelet-rich plasma treatment has transcended orthopedics. This is grounded through the increasing amount of clinical evidence showing its regenerative features for hair loss, skin revitalization, pores elimination, scar treatment, and so on.
Although the exact mechanism involved in this process is not entirely understood. But studies have revealed that high levels of growth factors in the processed blood, when injected, ticks so many healing boxes. The primary aim of this treatment is to accelerate the functions of the platelets in the blood. And once it’s done, results are identified in a few weeks after injection. Are you wondering how exactly it’s done? Keep reading.
What are the Processes Involved in Platelet-rich Plasma Treatment?
The processes involved in platelet-rich plasma treatment are pretty straightforward and are usually completed in 2hours or less. In addition, patients can undergo the process as an outpatient without being hospitalized. And apart from the need to properly hydrate to improve blood drawing, all patients’ requirements before the operation are seamless.
The following are steps that explain the processes of platelet-rich plasma treatment:
First Step – Patient’s Blood Collection
The beauty of this treatment option lies in the fact that it uses the patient’s blood. The volume needed is less than 50 milliliters, and it is drawn in the same way blood is drawn for either test or donation. A needle cannula is inserted into a vein in the arm and collected in a small vial.
The attempt to use a patient’s blood is quite strategic because it eliminates any complications from using another person’s blood.
Second Step – Blood Separation
Blood separation involves the division of the patient’s blood into different components. It is usually done for research, diagnostic, and therapeutic reasons. For example, doctors use a centrifugal machine to separate the patient’s blood for therapy, which is our concern here.
Once the blood collected is placed in the machine, the machine spins the blood very fast and exerts a centripetal pressure which separates all the components. These components include erythrocyte (red blood cells), leukocytes (white blood cells), thrombocytes (platelets), and Liquid (plasma). Each of these components has its respective functions. For example, erythrocytes are responsible for oxygen distribution; leukocytes are responsible for keeping the body healthy by fighting infections; platelets are for growth, healing, and rejuvenation.
Third Step – Collection of Platelets
Within the 50millimeter blood collected from the patient, there are about 200,000 platelets in each milliliter. An estimation of which is 10,000,000 platelet-rich plasma for whatever treatment that’s required. This platelet-rich plasma is then collected into a syringe, then administered to the patient immediately.
Fourth Step – Injection of the Platelet-rich Plasma into Required Spot
After the whole laboratory process, what’s left of the platelet-rich plasma is about 2 – 3 teaspoons of fluid which is then injected into the required location depending on the issue of the patient. Before the injection, there are some clinical steps to be followed, which are:
- Cleansing with iodine, methylated spirit, or Betadine to wipe off microorganisms that might cause infections.
- Injection of local anesthesia to reduce any form of discomfort around the location.
- There’s also an ultrasound probe to locate nerve blocks which might counteract the process. The ultrasound internally visualizes the body and guides the doctor’s maneuver around the location.
After each of these steps is followed as a precaution, the patient is injected with the platelet-rich plasma.
The Pre and Post Care Steps for Platelet-rich Plasma Treatment Patients
Given that the platelet-rich plasma treatment relies heavily on the functions of the platelets, it is essential to stop all medications that’ll be blood draining before the therapy is administered. For example, patients must avoid medicines like Ibuprofen, Alieve, Motrin, and Aspirin a few weeks before the treatment. Additionally, the patient is required to drink enough water to enhance blood flow before it’s extracted. In addition to this, if you have low platelets, cancer, or anemia, the injection might not be for you.
After the platelet-rich plasma treatment, patients notice a few side effects. These side effects include bruising, tingling, and swelling, all of which will subside not long after. You can as well adopt some mild skincare procedures to reduce these effects. Additionally, if the treatment is for skeletomuscular problems, patients must use cold compresses, reducing swelling or pain. Also, using crutches can decrease pressure on the treated joints, and raising the joints on a pillow at night can also be helpful.
Adhering to all the instructions given by the doctor is also a vital care tip before and after the treatment.
Apart from the issues platelet-rich plasma deals with, the treatment can be with several other treatments. So, as long as there is more research grounding the efficacy of the platelet-rich plasma treatment, and there are more clinical trials to show how it’s administered, both serving as evidence, patients’ interest will continue to grow.