Many patients want to know about the newer things that are being done in Cosmetic Surgery. It used to be a slow trickle of information to patients Doctors about anything new. Today, with the abundance of social media, patients often know about newer procedures before we do. One of the newer methods used for facial rejuvenation is the use of PRP or platelet rich plasma. Also known as the vampire facial or facelift, it was developed by Dr Charles Runels, a Cosmetic Surgeon in Alabama, expanding the use of PRP to the face.
PRP has been used in Orthopedics for some time to help repair tendons and joints. The theory is based on our bodies response to injury. If we get a cut or injury of some type, the first cells there are platelets. They release numerous compounds that activate the healing response that eventually results in collagen production and healing of the injury. This process is thought to be true for accelerating the healing of orthopedic problems and has been extrapolated to the skin and face as well as re-growth of hair.
I like to use the Dermapen for the facial part. What the Dermapen does is superficially damage the skin. This “micro-needling” is beneficial when used by itself to correct fine lines, wrinkles, scars, and generally rejuvenate the skin. When PRP is added, the results are augmented considerably. The final results are seen at 6-8 weeks with a transformation in texture and color of the skin. It just looks so much healthier. The “facelift” part is when the PRP is injected with harvested fat or manufactured filler to increase facial volume. By adding volume to the mid face, we can decrease those nasolabial folds, elevate jowels, and fill in deep lines under the eyes. We can do this using fat harvested elsewhere with liposuction or with fillers made of a variety of different substances. The results are immediate with the fillers or fat and the benefit of PRP is to form more collagen in the longer term.
Down time for the PRP facial is a few days where you will look very sunburned, and for the PRP facelift there is a possibility of bruising but very little else. The facial I recommend repeating every 12 to 18 months and combine that with a good skin care routine and sun screen and you will be amazed at how good your skin can look.