Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is also known as Platelet-Rich Fibrin Matrix (PRFM) and more commercially as the Vampire or Dracula Facelift. It is a natural, minimally invasive facial rejuvenation procedure used to help correct moderate lines, wrinkles, scars and to improve skin texture, volume and tone. It can also be used to help reduce the appearance of dark circles around the eyes.
PRP was first proposed in the 1970’s and has attracted attention in various medical fields recently, including orthopedic surgery, plastic surgery, dental surgeries and dermatology for its ability to enhance soft tissue repair and stimulate wound healing. PRP has gained increased notoriety as a liquid face lift cosmetically and as a biological boost to the healing process though experimental studies are very limited.
During this procedure, a blood sample is taken from the arm and then prepared to separate the platelet rich plasma from the remaining blood components. Blood contains erythrocytes (red blood cells), lymphocytes (white blood cells), platelets and plasma. Platelets are responsible for the fibrin clotting mechanism. When the clotting cascade is initiated, platelets release a number of growth factors that help in the repair and generation of collagen production and wound healing. In this procedure, platelet rich plasma is injected as multiple micro-injections around the face and neck. Once the clotting cascade has been initiated, growth factors are released, and together with the tissue contraction caused by the micro-injuries, tissue repair and collagen synthesis is promoted.
This procedure takes approximately 45 minutes. The facial area is cleansed and topical anesthetic is applied to help reduce discomfort. The platelet rich plasma is then prepared, activated, and then injected in multiple locations. Results may vary between individuals and optimal results are obtained by repeating the procedure at 3 and 6 months and yearly there after. PRP can also be used in conjunction with hyaluronic acid to create a more volumizing effect as well as other facial rejuvenation treatments such as injectables and lasers.
Prior to the procedure individuals should not be taking Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Vitamin E or Fish oils to reduce the chance of bruising at the injection sites. This procedure is NOT recommended for smokers as smoking interferes with the healing process.
Since the patients own blood is used, there is a low chance of adverse effects. As with all injections, there is a risk of tenderness, bruising, swelling and infection. These are generally mild and last a few days.