Platelets contain growth factors and biomolecules that are important for tissue repair and regeneration. The process involves the collection of the patient's whole blood, then spinning it in a centrifuge to separate platelet-rich plasma (PRP), platelet-poor plasma (PPP), and red blood cells. There are, at present, two methods of PRP preparation approved by the FDA and broad variability in the production of PRP depending on the equipment and technique used. The PRP that we use in our office is a mixture of PPP and PRP that we titrate to a 7% hematocrit and it is fortified with porcine extracellular matrix (ACell Matristem MicroMatrix [AMM]). Several studies have shown that this acellular matrix can help repair any tissue damage, improve healing, and graft survival and thereby growth of the transplanted hair and provide scaffolding for the growth factors to be released over a longer period of time.
The first reports of using PRP in hair transplantation appeared in medical periodicals in 2005. The initial application was focused on healing, but more recent discussions have suggested that PRP can improve hair quality and count. Occasionally, we use PRP and AMM injections to stimulate hair in patients who are not hair-transplant candidates but have noticeable miniaturization. A common recommendation for nonsurgical, standalone PRP/AMM injections that we use as well is for a series of three treatments 6–8 months apart. However, we are cautious when recommending PRP treatments for hair growth since the treatment can cause temporary shedding and the success we have noted to be inconsistent.
Medical Suite Building,
Arwyp Hospital, 22 Pine Avenue,
Kempton Park, Johannesburg.
Behind La Coline Commercial Centre,
Candos (close to hospital) Quatre Bornes