Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP, has made news as a favorite of professional athletes for accelerating the post-game healing process. For patients seeking surgery in Northern Virginia at Virginia Oral, Facial, and Implant surgery, platelet-rich plasma treatments can harbor a multitude of benefits. Patients may wonder, however, what is PRP?

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Human blood is comprised of a number of different parts. The most common parts are the various types of blood cells, blood platelets, and the liquid they are suspended in called blood plasma. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a by-product of blood (plasma) that is rich in platelets. Until now, its use has been confined to the hospital setting. This was due mainly to the cost of separating the platelets from the blood and the large amount of blood needed to produce a suitable quantity of platelets. New technology permits doctors to harvest and produce a sufficient quantity of platelets from a relatively small amount of drawn blood. This blood is enriched with platelets to a greater than normal concentration. These processes have made platelet-rich plasma and its associated treatments widely available to patients outside of hospitals. These treatments are readily available to Northern Virginia patients at Virginia Oral, Facial, and Implant Surgery.

Platelet-rich plasma treatments mainly consist of injections of PRP into critical areas. PRP permits the body to take advantage of the normal healing pathways at a greatly accelerated rate. During the healing process, the body rushes many cells and cell types to the wound to initiate the healing process. In addition, PRP can reduce the rate of inflammation at surgical sites and may have a number of unforeseen health benefits. There are relatively few side effects, and they are minor; the doctors who oversee the PRP injections will monitor for any side effects and can prescribe treatments or preventative measures to mitigate these effects.

Why do platelets work this way? Platelets themselves are a type of cell within the blood that actually plays several roles within the body. The first and most obvious role is to promote blood clotting, with which anyone who has ever had a cut on their body should be familiar. The other, more useful purpose, is the transport of various proteins associated with the healing and tissue repair processes. The body is a machine; it takes in commands that are given to it by proteins and carries them out. Therefore, if there is an excess of proteins within a certain area of the body, the body will concentrate resources in that area to match the presence of proteins. In essence, PRP treatments forcibly order the body to heal faster, and so it does!

Platelet rich plasma is a very useful tool, but one of many. Patients in Northern Virginia who visit can be sure that they are receiving the best of every treatment available. For more information on Platelet Rich Plasma and the various procedures available at Virginia Oral, Facial, and Implant Surgery, contact the office in the Northern Virginia area at (703) 388-2805.