PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) Therapy
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) in Austin, TX
Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP is made by isolating certain components of the blood. Human blood has components including red blood cells, white blood cells, serum, and platelets. Platelets main function is thought of as clot formation but it also contains chemicals and proteins that are involved in healing. When cells are separated from the blood, the resulting fluid is called plasma. Platelet Rich Plasma is made by concentrating the platelets and their chemicals and proteins within the plasma fluid. PRP therapy combines this solution with an anticoagulant and it is then injected into injured tissues to promote healing.
PRP therapy has been used for years in surgery and wound care but is relatively new in its use in musculoskeletal injuries. There has been some research showing positive results mostly in chronic tendonitis and arthritis which has reached a plateau in improvement but more research needs to be done to understand how it works and what conditions it can help. Unfortunately at this time, most insurance companies do NOT cover PRP therapy. We are told that our pricing is one of the most competitive in Austin. The price depends on the area injected, site of service (during surgery or independent injection in clinic), and image guidance.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What are the risks of the procedure?
As with any injection, any time you break the skin, there is a very small risk of infection and bleeding. Bruising can also result depending on the areas treated and how prone you are to bruising. The use of blood-thinning products can increase this risk. Since the patient’s own blood is used, there is no risk commonly associated with blood transfusions. It is expected that there will be a period of increased pain for about a week or two after the procedure before the pain subsides.
What should I do prior to the procedure?
Once the physician and you decide on the diagnosis and PRP therapy is scheduled, you should avoid all anti-inflammatory medications for 3-5 days prior to the procedure and for at least 2 weeks after the procedure. Cardiac patients should continue taking aspirin. Hydrate well and eat well prior to the procedure to make sure you are not dehydrated (especially if they have had difficulty drawing blood from you in the past). You may want to consider bringing someone with you, at least for the first visit.
How long will it take?
Generally, it will take about 5-10 minutes to draw the blood, then about 15-20 minutes to process the blood. The injection is usually done with ultrasound guidance and will take about 5-10 minutes. Most physicians recommend at least 2-3 injections 2-3 weeks apart for maximum results.
What can I expect during and after the procedure?
30-60cc of blood will be drawn from a vein (usually in the arm). The blood is then mixed with an anti-coagulant and placed into a machine with a special separator tube and machine that spins the blood and separates the components. After the procedure, the patient will experience some mild soreness in the treated area that peaks about 3 days after the injection but may continue for up to 2 weeks. The patient is instructed to avoid all anti-inflammatory medications. Most patients describe mild soreness that resolves with Tylenol. If there is a lot of pain, we can prescribe some pain medication for a couple of days.