Injecting Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) in hair transplant

Platelet-Rich plasma is a newly developed process to assisted hair restoration operations. But, what does PRP stand for? PRP is an abbreviation for platelet-rich plasma, which is a technique to enhance the recovery, healing and hair growth. Surgeons use this process before hair transplant and post it.

However, we have some questions that need answers about the use of PRP in. How we use PRP in hair transplantation? What is the benefit from using the PRP injection? What is the purpose of PRP in pre and post hair transplantation?

After hair transplantation, the transplanted follicles will start to shed from their new location on the scalp. This stage will last for 3 to 6 months after the operation. Other follicles will continue to thrive and produce new hair after the operation. Surgeons search for a technique or a process to enhance the thriving of the hair follicles after the operation. As a result, Their search for a technique led to the trial of platelet-rich plasma.

What exactly is the PRP treatment?


Platelet-rich plasma is a technique depends on the natural platelets of the human blood to enhance the hair growth. These platelets are some constituents of blood, beside the red blood cells and white blood cells. Unlike the red and white cells, platelets don not have a nucleus. They are smaller in their form than the other cells. Their function rests upon the clotting of blood. They release rapids of chemical factors that are necessary to the clot-forming process. However, platelets have more than just one function in the clotting process of blood. They are the first line barriers of bleeding. The platelet is a biological and chemical storehouse of basic, regulatory and functionary growth factors. These growth factors participate in the healing and recovery process of tissues.

platelet-rich plasma
platelet-rich plasma

The basic growth factors that participate in the functionary and essential processes are diverse. Among these factors are the platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), which is responsible for promoting the blood vessels and their growth. It is also responsible for cell replication and also skin formation. The transforming growth factor beta (TGF-b), which promotes the growth process of the matrix inside and among the cells and bone metabolism.

The growth factor of the epidermal (EGF) that is responsible for the growth of the cells and their differentiation, and also for the blood vessels and collagen formation and restoration. One of the important factors among these growth factors is the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). This factor enhances the blood vessels formation. Another factor is the insulin-like factor (IGF), which regulates perhaps all of the normal physiological functions of the cells in the body.

How we prepare the platelet-rich plasma before hair transplant?

The platelet-rich plasma is an autologous technique. It comes from the patient’s own blood. The process of the PRP treatment depends on how we could administrate the platelets to be a concentration. This concentration will be highly accumulated with growth factors, which rest upon the platelets. The surgeon or the laboratory specialist will prepare the PRP Injection process in the following steps:

  1.  To withdraw a sufficient amount of the patient’s blood from his/her arm by a syringe. This process is very similar to the procedure done at any laboratory. Before the operation, the laboratory technician will withdraw between 80-100 ml of the patient’s blood and to distribute them in 8 vacuum flasks.
  2.  To place the blood tubes in a centrifuge. The surgeon will place the 8 flasks in the centrifuge at a speed of 1000 rpm for approximately 10-15 minutes. The speed should be slow to avoid displacing the platelets in the bottom of the flasks.
  3.  Spin the blood tubes in the centrifuge for a specified time. The plasma will dispense into 4 clean flasks.
  4.  Another centrifuging stage will start. The speed of the centrifuge will be 5000 rpm for nearly another 10 minutes.
  5.  To discharge the floating poor-platelets from the rich one. The platelet-rich plasma has 4-6 times more platelets than in the normal case.

The concentrate will be highly accumulated with platelets. The surgeon will use this concentrate in the hair transplant operation. For the first stage, the surgeon will keep the FUs in the concentration before implantation for nearly 15-20 minutes. This time will allow the growth factors to stick upon the follicular units. Injection of the PRP will be after the implantation to enhance the recovery and healing of the tissues of the scalp. 

The advantages of platelet-rich plasma in hair transplant


Platelet-rich plasma has many potentials for the use in hair transplant. These potentials are to enhance the recovery process and to promote the hair growth after the operation. First, PRP injection preserves the hair follicles and keep their viability after the operation. Second, it enhances the repair of the tissues after the operation. Third, it revives the hair follicles and their new hair growth.

The critical time between removing the follicles from the donor area and the time of transplanting them, they will be subject to damage. They are different reasons of the damage in this period. Initially, the hair follicles may be subject to dehydration. Second, they may suffer from starvation because of the lack of oxygen and nutrients. Third, the  temperature may affect the hair follicles and also the changes in acids and alkalines in the new environment. Finally, the injury of the vascularization when the surgeon transplants the follicles in the recipient area.

The growth factors carry on their bodies many chemical and biological bodies that enhance the tissue recovery and healing. The use of PRP treatment in hair transplant surgeries is to raise the amount of the platelets at the specified site. The increase of the platelets will enhance the recovery of the tissues and their repair and health.

Consequently, Platelet-rich plasma is a high concentration of platelets many times greater than the normal case in blood. It is an autologous process depends on the blood of the patient and it is derived from his/her own blood. The same process is having the patient’s blood donor before the operation.

Safety in using the PRP injection 


There is no danger or allergies when using the PRP because it is neutrally immunological. As a result, it will be no foreign or body reactions. However, sterilizing should be a basic part at every stage of preparing the PRP. It will be important technique if there is any previous medical conditions make the patient subject to any kind of infection.

Rarely, some inflammation happens when using PRP injection at the site of the incisions. This kind of inflammation may be a cause of the release of the growth factors linked to the concentration of the platelets.

Finally, autologous platelet-rich plasma is a newly developed technique used for several years by surgeons to enhance recovery, healing of the scalp tissues. It has many benefits in promoting angiogenesis and the proliferation of the cells. The use of PRP is a current and persistent technique in the field of plastic surgeries and hair transplantation.