Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) & Stem Cells
At Rejuvence Clinic we have a passion for regenerative medicine and are experts in the use of platelet rich plasma – PRP – and stem cells for hair loss, facial rejuvenation and anti aging, sexual rejuvenation for both men and women as well as for muscle, tendon and joint injuries.
What is PRP?
Platelet Rich Plasma – commonly referred to as PRP – is a natural cell based multipurpose treatment that has been used in different branches of medicine for many decades. Recently it has been found to have a significantly positive impact in Aesthetic Medicine, especially for hair loss.
Platelets are specific cells found in the blood that are responsible for clotting and initiating inflammation and repair processes within the body. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a process whereby the platelets are removed from your blood and purified into a liquid form – ‘plasma’ – with a concentration at least 4-5 times higher than in blood. When PRP is then injected into the scalp, skin, penis, vagina, clitoris, tendons, muscles or joints, an inflammatory response is initiated with a surge of growth factors and stem cells. Following a series of treatments PRP can help with new hair growth, facial rejuvenation, stronger erections with better sensation, stronger orgasms with increased libido, accelerated healing of tendon and muscle injuries and even improved osteoarthritis.
How does PRP work in the skin?
Platelets have been shown to play an important role in wound healing. When activated they trigger the release and production of multiple chemicals that ultimately result in the stimulation of fibroblasts. Fibroblasts are cells that produce collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin form the main building blocks of the skin. Increased collagen and elastin results in improved skin health. Platelet rich plasma reinvigorates the skin and this can have dramatic effects, especially when you consider skin becomes inactive by the age of 30.
How does PRP work in the scalp for hair loss?
In the scalp, PRP has been found to be beneficial in a variety of types of hair loss including male and female pattern hair loss (collectively known as androgenic alopecia – AGA) as well resistant alopecia areata and even some types of scarring alopecia. It is also excellent in the treatment of the scalp prior to a hair transplant as well as after a hair transplant to help strengthen grafts.
PRP has three main effects on scalp and hair follicles that helps with reducing hair fall and new hair growth. PRP results in growth factors that aid in the development of new blood vessels in the scalp – also known as angiogenesis. Growth factors and stem cells affect the bulge cells of the hair follicles helping to stimulate growth and increase the anagen phase of hair growth. Finally PRP helps to stimulate positive skin changes in the scalp that help to support hair follicles and encourages hair growth and a reduction in excessive hair fall.
How does PRP help with sexual rejuvenation?
Although not considered to be a replacement for medical treatments for erectile dysfunction, PRP can help to strengthen erections through new blood vessel growth – angiogenesis. PRP has also been shown to have beneficial effects on nerve regeneration thereby helping to improve sensation in the tip of the penis. Increased collagen generation and fibroblast activity helps to rejuvenate the skin of the penis with some slight gain in thickness. This treatment is known as the P-Shot.
For women a similar combination of new blood vessel growth through angiogenesis, nerve regeneration and collagen stimulation have positive effects on orgasms especially with specific treatment of the clitoris and the vaginal walls especially the infamous G-Spot. This treatment is known as the O-Shot.
How is PRP produced?
PRP treatments are cell based and completely natural treatments. Blood is drawn from the client. Depending upon the specific system used for producing PRP there can be a variation in the volume of blood drawn but this is typically between 30ml and up to 180ml of blood. Although this sounds a lot, this is much less than the amount of blood taken when donating blood to a blood bank.
Blood is then spun in a centrifuge. Different PRP preparation protocols mean there are differences in the speed at which the centrifuge is spun as well as for how long. This process divides the blood into its different cellular components based upon their weight with the lightest cells and proteins lying at the top and the heaviest (red cells) at the bottom.
Platelets tends to be present in the upper third within a layer known as the buffy coat. This layer is extracted and represents platelet rich plasma. This liquid of highly concentrated platelets is then usually injected into the region of interest whether it is the scalp, skin, penis, vagina, tendons, muscles or joints.
Not all PRP is the same. How is Rejuvence different to other clinics?
PRP is widely available in clinics across the UK. However, there is a large variation in the cost of treatments. It is important to understand that not all PRP is the same. For PRP to be effective it is generally agreed that the concentration of platelets needs to be at least 4 to 5 times higher than in blood. The majority of PRP systems used in clinics across the UK claim to achieve this concentration but that is simply not true. At best test tube centrifugation systems used by the majority of clinics can achieve only 2-3 times concentration.
What PRP System do we use at Rejuvence?
We consider ourselves a centre of excellence for PRP. Hence we have taken great care and effort to ensure we use only the best systems in our clinic to ensure we deliver high quality PRP to all our clients. We have a three tiered PRP service at Rejuvence Clinic.
Our entry level PRP system is the Neogenesis PRP system. This is a more conventional PRP system and involves collecting 30ml of blood to produce 2-4ml of PRP with a concentration in the range of 2-3 times. This is effective for facial rejuvenation and mild hair loss. It uses a swing out centrifuge and a single spin cycle. Neogenesis PRP is not suitable for the P-Shot or O-Shot and we do recommend Magellan TruPRP and Angel Arthrex for those with more significant hair loss.
The Magellan TruPRP system is a very high end PRP system. It involves blood draw of between 60 and 120ml of blood. It yields 6-12 ml of high concentration PRP with platelets counts in the region of 4-5 times higher than baseline. The Magellan TruPRP system use a specialised centrifuge that runs a 2 spin protocol. The machine is fully automated with density scanning. Magellan TruPRP is especially suitable for hair loss and facial rejuvenation. It can also help with joint pains.
The Angel Arthrex System is our gold standard PRP unit. This Involves a blood draw of between 60 and 180ML. It can yield between 6 to 18ml of high concentration PRP with platelet counts in the region of 4-5 times higher than baseline. The Angel Arthrex system uses a specialised centrifuge that runs a two spin program similar to Magellan TruPRP. The Angel system also incorporates a density scanning function ensuring consistent and automated PRP production. The difference between Angel Arthrex and Magellan TruPRP is that the Angel system allows for customisation of the specific cellular constituents of the PRP as well as larger volume of PRP. This allows for bespoke PRP which is especially important for the treatment of certain conditions such as alopecia areata. Angel Arthrex is used for the treatment of all types of hair loss, facial rejuvenation, sexual rejuvenation including the P-Shot and O-Shot as well as muscle and joint conditions. For the best PRP we always recommend Angel Arthrex.
What is I-PRF?
I-PRF is defined as Injectable Platelet Rich Fibrin. This is a second generation blood derived biomaterial in contrast to PRP which is a first generation platelet-based biomaterial. Fibrin is found in the blood and plays a specific role in clotting. The difference between platelet rich plasma (PRP) and injectable platelet rich fibrin (I – PRF) is the presence of a fibrin scaffold that means in I-PRF the effects of the platelets lasts for longer and there is longer sustained release of growth factors. However, overall PRP releases more growth factors but over a shorter period of time.
PRF has been used for some time in a gel form for the treatment of complex wounds and ulcers. Modifications to the preparation of PRP allows for the production of injectable PRF that is initially in a liquid form that turns to a gel after about 15mins. I-PRF has been found to help with hair loss following injection into the scalp in liquid form. As per best practice guidelines for PRP treatments for hair loss I-PRF is still in its infancy with no evidence that it is better than PRP. In addition, concentration of platelets is still most important for efficacy of treatment and I-PRF production protocols result in low concentrations.
At Rejuvence we are able to incorporate both PRP and I-PRF into treatment protocols especially for the treatment of hair loss in both men and women.
PRP combined with Stem Cell Technology
More recently there have been advances in the harvesting of stem cells for bioregenerative treatments that go above and beyond just PRP. Using minimally invasive liposuction techniques fat can be harvested and then micronised (filtered) to release stem cells and growth factors contained in high concentrations in fat cells. When combined with PRP they can be used to rejuvenate the ageing face, improve hair growth, treat sports injuries, erectile dysfunction and even osteoarthritis. The possibilities are almost endless.
What are stem cells?
Stem cells can be considered baby cells that have the potential to turn into any cell in the body and have extremely powerful healing abilities. They are found in high concentrations in certain regions of the body. To date stem cells have been very difficult to harvest. In addition the harvesting techniques used were very invasive. Fat cells have been found to have a very potent type of stem cell often referred to as adipose (fat cells) derived stem cells. With recent advances in fat harvesting and the advent of a technique known as micronising it has now become possible to acquire adipose derived stem cells without significant pain and discomfort. This has opened up huge possibilities with regards to applying the principles of regenerative medicine to aesthetic treatments to get even better results than we have before. When PRP is combined with micronised fat the stem cells are augmented and their healing abilities improved. This means results of treatment to the face, scalp and other regions are better and longer lasting.
What is it used to treat?
PRP and stem cells are most often used to treat fine lines and wrinkles. A series of treatments can result in the dramatic improvement of fine lines and wrinkles. The skin becomes thicker and plumper and there is an overall improvement in skin health. When combined with other treatments such as chemical peels and microneedling, PRP reduces the downtime and significantly improves the final result. When injected into the scalp for hair loss it can improve hair growth and hair thickness. PRP and stem cells can also be used in combination with other treatments for improving the appearance of scars and stretch marks. It has recently been used for the treatment of erectile dysfunction and increase in penile girth. PRP and stem cell therapy for sports injuries and osteoarthritis is already well established.
Is there scientific evidence to support this treatment?
Over 25000 scientific papers have been published covering the use of PRP in various medical settings and shown it to be effective, flexible and safe. With regards to the effects of PRP on facial rejuvenation, scientists have demonstrated on a cellular level, significant gains in collagen and elastin in skin, as well as improved healing times. Scientists have studied the effects of PRP on hair growth and demonstrated consistent 20% to 25% increases in hair density as well as hair thickness. Scientists have also shown improvements in the appearance of acne scars on the face as well as stretch marks when platelet rich plasma in used alongside microneedling and microdermabrasion. Currently studies are underway to demonstrate the positive effects of PRP on impotence and penile rejuvenation, otherwise known as the ‘P-shot’ or ‘M-shot’.
For further details please book a consultation.