PRP and ACell® Injection Therapy
The latest non-surgical treatment for thinning hair and hair loss combines the proven regenerative properties of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and ACell® MatriStem® matrix. These activating components are combined to form a potent series of microinjections to stimulate, strengthen, and restore miniaturized hair follicles. Our hair restoration surgeons, James E. Vogel, MD and Carrie Houssock, MD, believe this effective therapy has shown tremendous potential among well-qualified patients experiencing both genetic and non-hereditary types of hair loss. They are enthusiastic about offering this quick, minimally-invasive treatment to help male and female patients who want to prevent hair loss and regrow hair.
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What is PRP and ACell® Injection Therapy?
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and ACell® injection therapy provides the scalp with growth factors that have the potential to activate weakened and thinning hair follicles and encourage hair growth. To create the PRP, the patient’s own blood is drawn the day of the procedure and is separated using a special, computerized centrifuge. The highly concentrated PRP is then combined with ACell® MatriStem® matrix. This creates a potent blend of growth factors and proteins that promote cellular regeneration and hair growth. Together, PRP and ACell® work synergistically, providing a steady supply of essential growth factors to the hair follicles, which can essentially reverse the hair loss process in many patients.
What Are The Benefits of PRP and ACell® Injection Therapy?
While this application of PRP and ACell® is still relatively new, individually, these products are both FDA-approved for wound healing and restorative purposes. However, for hair restoration, the use of ACell® and PRP is considered “off label.” Off label use of medical treatments is common practice. Initial clinical results have revealed that PRP and ACell® treatment can often offer the following benefits:
- Prevention of further hair loss
- Strengthening of weak hair
- Stimulation of new hair growth
Ideal candidates for PRP and ACell® are men and women who are already utilizing another non-surgical hair loss method such as Propecia® (finasteride), Rogaine®, Formula 82M, or low level laser therapy (LLLT) with a laser comb or cap. The reason for this is to position the hair in the maximal growing phase when the ACell® and PRP are provided. Those in the early stages of hair loss may benefit most from this injectable therapy, along with patients who have undergone hair transplant surgery and need an effective method for retaining non-transplanted hairs. The procedure is especially helpful for women with general hair thinning. Ultimately, Drs. Vogel and Houssock can evaluate your hair loss during a consultation and determine if PRP and ACell® injection therapy – or another type of hair restoration treatment – is best suited for your individual hair loss pattern.
How is PRP and ACell® Injection Therapy Performed?
Once you and Drs. Vogel or Houssock have decided to move forward with PRP and ACell® injection therapy, you can schedule your session. On the day of your treatment, a sample of your blood will be collected and centrifuged to extract the PRP, which is then combined with powdered ACell®. Drs. Vogel and Houssock carefully inject the PRP and ACell® into designated areas of the scalp at a precise depth beneath the skin where it can be most beneficial to the follicles. After treatment you will be able to return to your workday or regular activities immediately following your session.
The immediate benefits of this quick procedure are:
- Minimally-invasive and generally well-tolerated
- Recovery is usually swift and easily manageable
- Treatment lasts approximately 90 minutes
- Most patients can return to work or regular activities right after treatment
Preparation of PRP
In our treatment room a single tube of blood is drawn and placed into a centrifuge to separate the blood components. A specialized blood tube is used with an agar plug at the base which selectively allows all blood components, except the platelets, to pass through to the bottom during centrifugation. The concentrated platelets on top of the agar plug are then mixed with the patient’s plasma that remains in the tube. This is how PRP, platelet rich plasma, is created. We take several quality precautions to insure that the only PRP our patients receive is from their own blood. One of these quality steps is seen in the photos below which is to have the patient initial the blood tube personally. Throughout the entire process the staff and patient confirm their identity of the PRP to verify patients only receive their own PRP.
The PRP and ACell® are then mixed together. Using a specialized air cooling system as an anesthetic, the PRP/A-Cell mixture is injected into the scalp. It is important to make sure the PRP is placed into the region of the hair bulbs to achieve maximal benefit. Technique is important in this process!
What Can I Expect After PRP and ACell® Injection Therapy?
Your scalp may feel mildly sore for about 48 hours. Recovery is usually swift, and within about four to eight months, patients typically start to see results. Commonly reported improvements include thicker, denser hair in the treated areas. Drs. Vogel and Houssock will keep a close watch on your progress, and based on what they see, they can formulate an appropriate treatment plan to help maintain or further improve your results. Over the course of treatment you will also be monitored with our sophisticated computerized software that provides an objective measure of your hair diameters. The positive effects of PRP and ACell® injection therapy can be evident for several months, or even years, depending on your unique hair loss pattern and responsiveness to treatment. The need for repeat treatments will be discussed with you.
Summary of PRP/ACell® Treatment
This is an example of our sophisticated computerized software utilized to provide an objective analysis of treatment results. The hair diameters are measured initially and at eight month as part of a comprehensive evaluation.
Hair diameters in treated area:
Mean diameter: All hairs 63 +/- 3.6 μm
Thin hairs (40-60 μm): 43%
Regular hairs (60-80 μm): 48%
Thick hairs (>80 μm): 9%
Hair diameters in treated area:
Mean diameter: All hairs 83 +/- 4.9 μm
Thin hairs (40-60 μm): 25%
Regular hairs (60-80 μm): 31%
Thick hairs (>80 μm): 44%
For many the idea of PRP and hair restoration is new. Many of our patients like to do their own ‘due diligence’ on PRP prior to, or following the office consultation. Below is a list of scientific articles assessing the efficacy and safety of PRP in treating androgenic alopecia.
Contact Dr. James E. Vogel
If you are interested in PRP and ACell® injection therapy to slow your hair loss and regrow hair, we recommend that you contact our office to schedule a consultation with Drs. Vogel or Houssock. For more information about hair loss treatments, please visit our hair restoration frequently asked questions page.View More Before & After Photos