What Is PRP?
Almost every single possible patient that we see at The Toronto Hair Transplant Clinic is very well researched in their knowledge of hair loss and hair restoration. One of the latest treatments that is showing some amazing results is the use of PRP, otherwise known as platelet-rich plasma therapy.
The use of PRP in hair transplantation procedures began as doctors were seeking a way to ensure the success rate, or “take rate” of the majority of transplanted grafts. If a follicle that has been harvested from the donor area is without a blood supply for too long, it will not survive. Steps are taken to ensure the survival of the transplanted grafts until they are able to be re-inserted back into the recipient site. However, even if the graft was successfully transplanted, that did not always mean that it would ultimately survive or even thrive better in this new environment.
This led to trials of using PRP in hair restoration treatments. This platelet-rich plasma had been used for decades in sports medicine and for many years in other fields of medicine to enhance tissue repair and to promote faster healing after surgery or injuries.
What Is A Platelet?
Platelets are a part of the biological makeup of our blood. Along with red and white blood cells, platelets play a big role in the blood system. Red and white blood cells have a nucleus. However, platelets don’t. Therefore, they are not considered cells like a red or white blood cell. Platelets are also a little smaller than cells.
Platelets are most significantly known as the major players in blood clotting. When an injury causes a wound that is bleeding, platelets quickly “leap into action” to begin the blood-clotting process. This process is threefold:
1. Platelets are a part of the release of chemical factors that are essential to the formation of clots.
2. The platelets will manipulate their shape to adhere to other platelets and form a barrier to stop the bleeding in that area.
3. This barrier is made up of interlocked platelets as well as strands of fibrin.
Platelets are kind of like the first responders to an injury that is bleeding. They are also a biochemical warehouse of the molecules that are responsible for regulating, signalling, and growth factors that are all a part of the recovery and healing of flesh and tissue.
Growth Factors That Are Associated With PRP
PDGF, or platelet-derived growth factors – responsible for the blood vessel growth, cell replication, and skin formationTGF-b, or transforming growth factor beta – responsible for the matrix between cell’s growth as well as bone metabolism
VEGF, or vascular endothelial growth factor – promotes blood vessel formation
EGF, or epidermal growth factor – promotes cell growth and differentiation as well as blood vessel and collagen formation
FGF2, or fibroblast growth factor – responsible for the growth of specialized cells and the formation of blood vessels
IGF, or insulin growth factor – regulates the normal physiology of nearly every cell in the body