Platelet Rich Plasma vs. Platelet Poor Plasma
Understanding the Difference and How Each Can Help You
If you’ve spent some time on our website, you have probably already noticed that we offer two very similar types of plasma-based treatment: platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and platelet-poor plasma (PPP). Like many patients, you’re probably wondering what differentiates these two treatments.
Wonder no more. We’ve created this quick primer to introduce you to the subject so you can better understand just how these amazing substances can be used to help you!
Before we go into the differences, it helps to explain how these two substances are similar. Both PRP and PPP come from your own blood, and both have two main ingredients: platelets and plasma. (The other two main ingredients of human blood, red blood cells, and white blood cells are not used in our treatments.)
Furthermore, both are created in approximately the same way. A blood sample is taken from you, the patient, and then placed in one of our highly advanced centrifuges. As the centrifuge spins, the sample separates into its component parts. Our doctors can then use this separated sample to create solutions of PRP and PPP. Depending on your needs, we may even be able to create both PRP and PPP from the same blood sample!
PRP: Platelet Rich Plasma
Once the centrifuges have done their work, it’s time to create PRP. As you might have guessed from the name, PRP is a mixture of both platelets and plasma which contains a high concentration of platelets. Platelets are the part of the blood that controls clotting. They also release chemical signals that alert the body to the presence of an injury in order to spur healing.
In our practice, we usually combine PRP with stem cell therapy. The two work together almost like a foreman and a construction worker. Once injected at the site of your injury, the platelets “assess” the injury and determine that there is damage that needs to be fixed. They then send a chemical signal to the stem cells that spur the stem cells to evolve into the cells necessary to fix whatever the injury happens to be.
PPP: Platelet Poor Plasma
Unlike PRP, PPP does not have many platelets. Because of this, doctors for many years regarded it as a byproduct of PRP and simply discarded it. Recently, however, doctors have discovered that PPP has its own unique healing properties – and they’re every bit as amazing as the combination of PRP and stem cells.
For instance, PPP can be used for nerve hydrodissection, which is a procedure used to free and relieve a trapped nerve. Patients with ulnar neuropathy and certain types of carpal tunnel syndrome can thus find PPP therapy helpful. PPP can also be used to heal damaged muscle tissue – which doctors once believed could not be healed at all. Imagine that: a substance that used to be considered useless, now healing tissues doctors thought couldn’t be healed!
Which Is Better?
As you’ve probably already guessed, this is a trick question. Neither PPP nor PRP is objectively better than the other, just as a hammer isn’t objectively better than a screwdriver. What’s important is using the right tool for the job. Depending on the precise cause of your pain, our doctors might recommend PPP, PRP, stem cell treatment, or even a completely different treatment, like prolotherapy or neuro-prolotherapy.
Finding out which treatment is right for you is our first order of business here at National Stem Cell Clinic. If you want to find the treatment that has the best chance of healing your injury and allowing you to return to a pain-free life, we invite you to visit us for a consultation.