There has been a lot of buzz in the medical world over the past several years regarding platelet rich plasma. It has been used in multiple areas of medicine, including orthopedics for anti-inflammatory purposes. It has been received with must positivity by both patients and physicians alike. Recently, plasma injections have been promoted by several doctors to enhance facial rejuvenation. I have been interested in this as well, as I know it is a very safe procedure.
We obtain the plasma by drawing the patient’s blood and spinning it in a centrifuge. The centrifuge will separate the components of the blood; the heavy thick red blood cells will fall to the bottom of the test tube when it is spinning, and a golden clear liquid rises to the top. This is the plasma. The plasma contains multiple growth factors, stem cells, and other components that are theoretically healthy for the body. From this, we inject the plasma into multiple areas of the face in a short time frame, once the plasma has been activated. If the injector has a good aesthetic eye, the plasma can be injected to create a nice facial shape, similar to the way fillers work. However, the plasma is not a filler and will not hold the shape that is yielded for longer than a day or two. The plasma is quickly reabsorbed into the body, and cosmetic benefits are lost once the swelling resolves. Nonetheless, there is a theoretical benefit to injecting the plasma: the plasma will stimulate the patient’s own collagen growth and overall skin health over time. The benefits can be seen many months after the initial injections. Notably, Kim Kardashian had this procedure performed on her hit reality television show recently, and the procedure gained a lot of worldwide attention following its exposure on television. I have done many of these procedures over the past three months, yet I do not have a long-term follow-up. Most patients have been extremely happy with their results, and the way their face feels following the injections. The chance of creating a problem is extremely minimal, and I have not received any patient complaints other than the usual bruising and/or swelling, which may last a day or two. Time will tell if there are substantial results in the long run, but in the meanwhile, it is a safe and pleasing procedure that most patients are happy with. I will continue to closely monitor the degree of long-term benefits, as I continue to see my previously injected patients.