PRP Treatment (Platelet Rich Plasma) has become a buzzword in the cosmetic surgery industry, yet it is something that is not easily understood by many patients. PRP is a procedure that utilizes the ability of growth factors taken from a patient’s blood, which are injected into the facial tissue to stimulate stem cells and produce new collagen to improve facial appearance. In this interview with Aesthetic Insider™ Dr. Kriston J. Kent, a board certified facial plastic surgeon and facial rejuvenation expert who practices at Holcomb-Kreithen Plastic Surgery Center and MedSpa, discusses how the micro-channeling of growth factors into the skin can result in the creation of a healthier, more youthful complexion. To learn more visit, www.sarasota-med.com.
How do you use PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) in your aesthetic practice?
I was introduced to the use of PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) for surgeries that required significant healing time. I actually began using this technology in both reconstructive and cosmetic procedures such as facelifts and forehead lifts to help achieve the best result and to speed up the healing process. I found that it was nothing short of amazing what we could accomplish in big surgical procedures using PRP techniques and that led overtime to me introducing it to my non-surgical patients. I now use PRP to improve health, color, tone and texture of the skin, as well as to help hair regrowth in both male and female patients.
Can you explain how PRP works?
Yes. It is quite a fascinating process. The Platelet Rich Plasma, which is sometimes called PRP or even CRP (Cytokine Rich Plasma) is floating within platelets in our blood at all times, but only really becomes activated and useful whenever we have an injury. We begin by taking a sample of the patient’s own blood, processing it and separating out the special PRP which is like a gel. This PRP gel is injected back into the patient at the procedure site to aid healing and tissue growth. What makes this somewhat unique is that we are using a patient’s own healing factors to create an improvement in the skin, improvement in the hair follicle during hair restoration treatment, and to improve healing wherever we need it. When an injury occurs the platelets, which carry growth factors, can heal the tissue and create new collagen. The activated platelets can also be used on the surface of the skin and delivered through a micro-needling technique to create a health, glowing complexion.
Is this the same as the Vampire Lift made popular by Kim Kardashian?
I’m not Kim Kardashian’s physician and I’m not 100% sure what she had, how it worked or what was used, but it may be a similar concept. Although we are taking platelets from the blood to perform a PRP procedure, we do not use the red blood cells. The blood is processed through a centrifuge and when it is reinjected it is actually more of a golden yellow color, than a red. The growth factors are not in the red blood cells or the white blood cells, but rather in the platelets and this is what makes this less like the Vampire Facelift because of the difference in the color. Typically the best PRP, with the highest level of growth factors, is not red, but is a more golden color.
When do you use PRP in an aesthetic practice?
We actually use it in combination with a variety of different procedures. Hair restoration is one. At our practice we offer the NeoGraft FUE hair restoration procedure. After the new hair grafts have been transplanted, we will inject the PRP to the treated area and it is actually amazing to see how healthy the hair becomes, and we are also able to increase the rate of viable grafts that survive the transplant. Once exposed to this platelet rich plasma these hairs become stronger and thicker so we use it quite a bit for male pattern hair loss. It also seems to work very, very well for females around menopause and after menopause as they to begin to get thinning hair. It works very well for sun damaged skin, especially when we apply the micro-needling device I mentioned earlier. We can significantly improve the look of the skin with PRP and micro-needling, give the patient more youthful looking skin, as well as improved tone and texture. PRP is finding more uses in the aesthetic practices because of its healing and cell growth capabilities.
Can you do a PRP treatment on the neck and chest or decollatage area?
Oh yes. We use it to improve skin tissue on the back of the hands. It is often said that the tell-tale signs of aging are the neck and the chest area of a female, and the backs of their hands. PRP works great to improve sun damage on the chest and neck and to revitalize that tissue. In combination with fat or fillers to the back of the hands, PRP can really make a patients hands look far more youthful.
Is there anything PRP can do for thin or fragile skin tissue?
There is no doubt that whenever new collagen is added to the tissues, the tissue becomes stronger. When we’re younger our collagen tends to be wound up like a rope, with long strands that gives strength and thickness to the skin. As we are exposed to the sun and the aging processes, the collagen becomes fragmented. We also have elastic fibers in our skin that tend to give what we call rebound – like snapping a rubber band. When the collagen is new and strong it can snap back into place. With age it becomes lax and loses elasticity. With the use of PRP the skin can thicken and become more elastic helping rebuild fragile tissue and give the appearance that the skin is much younger than it actually is.
How long does a PRP procedure take?
The procedure itself is relatively quick. Generally 45 minutes to 1 hour is required.
Does a patient need more than one treatment?
There is variability in how a patient might respond which is always unique to each patient. We try to do everything we can in one procedure, but some patients require further and as these treatments create improvement over time, having several treatments in the first few months will ultimately yield far better results
Is PRP the future of aesthetic medicine?
PRP is proving that it benefits everything from surgical cases to injectables and hair growth, so yes, I would say it will definitely continue to be a great benefit in the future of aesthetics.
To listen to Dr. Kent’s interview at Aesthetic Insider Radio, CLICK HERE!
About Holcomb – Kreithen Plastic Surgery and MedSpa
With their main office located in beautiful downtown Sarasota, and services also available at locations in Lakewood Ranch and Tampa, Holcomb – Kreithen Plastic Surgery and H|K MedSpa offers a comprehensive range of aesthetic surgical and non-surgical treatments that enhance the lives of men and women. The AAAASF-accredited facility includes a private outpatient ambulatory surgical center. The founding physicians of the practice include J. David Holcomb, M.D. (Facial Plastic and Cosmetic Laser Surgeon) and Joshua Kreithen, M.D. (Breast and Body Contouring Specialist). Dr. Kriston J. Kent, MD (Facial Plastic Surgeon) recently joined the practice’s Tampa division.
Holcomb – Kreithen Plastic Surgery is renowned for its expertise in facial plastic surgery, plastic surgery of the breasts and body and cosmetic laser surgery. Additional core areas of focus within H|K MedSpa include non- and minimally-invasive body contouring, facial aesthetics, medical hair restoration, laser skin rejuvenation and medical skin care. With its comprehensive range of services and dedicated staff the practice has developed a reputation as one of the most advanced centers in Florida. Receipt of the Allergan “Black Diamond Award” is an objective benchmark for the practice’ success, ranking it among the top 1% of practices in the entire country providing Botox Cosmetic, Juvederm (including Voluma) injectable gel, Latisse, Natrelle breast implants and SkinMedica skin care.
The Holcomb – Kreithen Plastic Surgery and MedSpa staff is comprised of an extraordinary group of professionals whose primary goal is to safely empower individuals to reach their full potential. They are committed to always treating patients and each other with kindness, compassion and dignity. For more information, visit www.sarasota-med.com or www.tampa-med.com.