What Is PRP Therapy?

Have you ever broken a bone or sprained your ankle? It takes weeks to regain comfortable use of the affected area. Imagine if you could speed up that healing process by a considerable margin. Anything that could have that ability is worth looking into, right?

This is only one reason that regenerative medicine exists. Though it sounds like something from a science fiction movie, it’s very real and it’s growing in popularity. It also happens to be growing in feasibility as the research continues to compile more and more promising results.

Your rolled ankle could be fully functional in a fraction of the time it would normally take to heal, but imagine what it could do for someone suffering from osteoarthritis! Regenerative medicine may be a relatively new medical field that is still under scrutiny, and rightfully so, with more research to be conducted. However, there are regenerative medical procedures you can experience for yourself right now, without the need for a time machine!


One of the most common is “platelet-rich plasma” (PRP) therapy. This simple procedure takes your body’s resources and uses them to kick-start the healing process of bones and soft tissues, such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This is helpful because the initial onset of the recovery process for these tissues is often the most crucial component of ensuring a successful and speedy recovery.

Research has shown promising results that will merit further examination of this procedure, where the platelet-rich plasma has even boosted the healing properties of life-threatening wounds! There is also research to suggest PRP as an effective treatment for androgenic alopecia , which is the most common form of hair loss.

Utilized primarily by sports medicine specialists and orthopedic doctors, there’s little to suggest that such a non-invasive procedure shouldn’t be used more frequently. However, if you are wondering if PRP therapy could be beneficial to you, it’s worth considering all aspects.


What Is Platelet-Rich Plasma?

Plasma is the liquid part of your blood; comprised mostly of water and proteins. It’s the medium that the important cells travel through; like the water that carries you through a water slide!

Platelets are the smallest type of blood cells we have. They have one very important main purpose: to stop your wounds from bleeding by forming clots.

PRP is a sample of your blood that has been slightly modified to be abundant with platelets. Pretty simple, right?

How Does It Work?

What PRP therapy does is help to accelerate the initial inflammatory response that your body uses to signal the rest of the components that heal your wounds.

Normally, we think of inflammation as a negative thing. Truthfully, it is the very first step to healing all wounds. Just as a fever is meant to create an unstable environment for possible antigens and to signal the need for antibodies; inflammation is meant to create a hot and liquid-filled area where white blood cells, platelets, antibodies, and other vital healing cells are called to action.

If your body had an alarm that began the healing process, PRP sounds that alarm quickly; much faster than it would activate naturally.

What Can It Do?

Much more research is needed before any conclusive certainties can be established about the extent of the capabilities of PRP. However, the results as of now are pretty promising! Below is a comprehensive list of the ailments, injuries, and conditions that have shown PRP as a promising treatment:

  • Hamstring Injuries
  • Muscle Tears
  • Tendonitis
  • Rotator Cuff Tendinosis/Tears
  • AC & Glenohumeral Joint Arthritis
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Trochanteric Bursitis
  • Androgenetic Alopecia
  • Piriformis Syndrome
  • ITB Friction Syndrome
  • Lateral/Medial Epicondylitis (Tennis/Golfers Elbow)
  • Injuries to the Flexor, Extensor, and Bicipital Tendons
  • Ulnar Collateral Ligament Injuries
  • Kneecap Pain (Patellofemoral Syndrome)
  • Quadriceps/Hamstring Strains
  • Patellar Tendinosis (Jumper’s knee)
  • Achilles Tendon Injuries
  • Peroneal/Posterior Tibialis Tendon Injuries

What’s The Procedure?

Considering its outpatient and non-invasive nature, you can expect the entire process to take an hour and a half at most. Intake and preparation will involve drawing one or two ounces of blood, depending on the condition or injury being treated.

The blood is processed to produce the PRP injection by concentrating your platelets and extracting them from the rest of your blood and collecting them in a syringe. For reference, the one or two ounces of blood drawn will produce one or two teaspoons of PRP to be injected. Quite a concentration! This takes roughly a half-hour.

Then the doctor will numb the area to be treated, which will take approximately 15 minutes for the nerve block to take effect. Once fully numb, the doctor will begin injecting PRP in the appropriate area, in the appropriate amounts.

Afterward, you can expect the numbing to fade over the next few hours and you’ll feel a slight pain from the inflammation, but this is a good thing!


As with any procedure, there are some important things to take note of if you are a candidate for treatment. Some more basic than others, but all need accounted for.

◦ Bring a friend or family member along in most cases. The anesthesia will leave one or a few of your limbs unable to feel sensations for a few hours, so assuming you had the leg you drive with treated or any upper-extremity, it’s smart to have a post-treatment driver.

◦ Anyone using aspirin daily will have to stop for about a week before beginning treatment.

◦ Anyone using NSAID medications such as ibuprofen, Aleve, or any prescription anti-inflammatory medication will have to stop for up to five days before beginning treatment and often after treatment.

◦ Anyone using corticosteroids should let the physician know, as this will factor into the scheduling of your treatments.

◦ Though promising as a treatment for many ailments, it’s important to remember that every person is different and some things will have different effects due to many different variables. The general efficacy of overall PRP effectiveness is approximately 70% (Averaged over all conclusive research).


Due to PRP therapy being in its infantile stages of development, some deny its effectiveness, or completely chastise the method, often for religious reasons. Per the scientific method of evaluating the effectiveness of medical treatments, PRP therapy has been undergoing numerous studies, almost all of which point toward the beneficial use of this treatment!

A select few studies have shown that the therapy has a neutral, or insignificant effect. This is the worst finding to date. Thickening the mound of evidence that shows the effectiveness of PRP, the World Anti-Doping Agency and the United States Anti-Doping Agency both call for the ban of PRP in professional sports leagues, due to the growth factors found in PRP. No sports agencies have touched on the subject.


Regenerative medicine may have more widespread acceptance in the years to come as more research concludes. Still, even these days there are amazing breakthroughs such as platelet-rich plasma, which assure us of the greater things to come!

We may not have T-1000 droids or meals in pill form, or even flying cars quite yet; accelerated healing, however… is just a torn ligament away!


If you would like to schedule an in-person consultation, please fill out the form on this page and one of our knowledgeable medical staff members at Yaletown Laser Centre will reach out to you promptly. You can also call our Vancouver, BC office directly to schedule 604-331-1777. Yaletown Laser Centre serves the greater Vancouver, BC area.

Consultations Available Now

Take the first step. Get your questions answered and find out which treatment option is best for your personal situation by meeting with one of our knowledgeable medical staff at Yaletown Laser Centre for an in-person consultation.

Simply fill out the form on this page, and one of our experienced team members will reach out to you promptly to schedule your consultation.

*Individual results may vary.

Take The First Step - Request a Consultation

If you would like to schedule an in-person consultation, please fill out the form on this page and one of our knowledgeable medical staff members at Yaletown Laser Centre will reach out to you promptly. You can also call our Vancouver, BC office directly to schedule 604-332-3453. Yaletown Laser Centre serves the greater Vancouver, BC area.

Related Articles

skin care Vancouve
Aging Skin

How to Enhance Aging Skin

How to Enhance Aging Skin Request a Consultation How to Enhance Aging Skin Skin ages for a variety of reasons. It is part of the

Read More »