Platelets are one of the three solid components found in the liquid of blood (plasma). The platelets are part of cells that are created in bone marrow. Plasma that is rich in platelets has five to ten times the average amount of platelets normally found in blood. Because platelet-rich plasma contains growth factors that stimulate healing, San Francisco patients who receive platelet rich plasma (PRP) experience less healing time than patients who do not receive this treatment.
How Are Platelets Harvested?
The procedure for harvesting platelets has evolved from a costly procedure that required a substantial amount of blood to a method that filters enough platelets from a 20 cc blood sample drawn during surgery. This new technique has resulted in more platelet rich plasma used in oral surgery and shorter recovery times for San Francisco patients who require surgery.
What are the Benefits of Platelet Rich Plasma?
The main purpose of platelets is to aid in clotting. Because platelets are formed out of protein, they are able to adhere to broken blood vessels as well as each other, forming a barrier that keeps you from bleeding. A lack of platelets (thrombocytopenia) can cause you to bleed more and bruise easily. You can develop a platelet deficiency from:
- Taking certain medications regularly.
- Drinking too much alcohol.
- Kidney disorders.
- Cancer such as lymphoma and leukemia.
- Genetic predisposition.
For San Francisco patients with a platelet deficiency, platelet rich plasma can restore normal function and avoid excess bleeding and discomfort during oral surgery. Even patients with normal platelet counts can benefit from additional platelets, as long as it does not exceed the recommended threshold.