Platelet-rich plasma (PRP), a rich source of growth factors, has gained popularity as a method to boost healing after facial plastic surgery and rejuvenation procedures, such as laser skin resurfacing and facelift surgery. Supporters of the treatment claim that delivering platelet-rich plasma (usually in a gel form) to the wound prior to closure has many benefits. Some convenience sample studies, for example, have documented an elimination of the need for drains; reduction in the need for compressive dressings; reduction in pain and postoperative swelling; improved wound healing; and shorter recovery time (Plast Reconstr Surg. 2001;107(1):229-237).
Explore this issue:June 2006
The advantage to platelet gel is that you are introducing into the wound a higher-than-native concentration of growth factors and angiogenesis factors, and other factors involved in the coagulation cascade, that facilitate the healing. – Ross A. Clevens, MD
Other researchers are more circumspect regarding the treatment, noting that a certain amount of euphoria surrounds the use of growth factors to speed healing. The current scientific evidence about the treatment as an adjunct in facial cosmetic surgery, they say, does not warrant it becoming a standard of care.