PRP therapy is becoming increasingly popular, especially as athletes swear by its wonderful healing process. However, before you decide whether or not PRP therapy is worth it, you may want to research more about its side effects.
Let us start by saying that PRP therapy does not have too many side effects. It is mostly considered to be a safe, hassle-free procedure that comes with zero to no risks at all. Even individuals who have drug allergies can choose to proceed with PRP therapy and witness improvements in their body within only a few weeks of use. As more positive research about PRP therapy is published, more and more doctors are relying on it to treat problems, such as tendonitis in the knee, shoulder, and elbow. PRP therapy is also becoming common in other medical, as well as aesthetic purposes.
That being said, there are a few chances that PRP therapy injections may leave behind their side effects. Depending on the patient, there may be some small complications to the accompanying processes that take place when you opt for PRP therapy. Here is all that you need to know:
1. Infections in the Treatment Area are Rare
You must remember that complications and infections are rare when getting a PRP therapy injection. This is because white blood cells are found in the PRP serum. These can get rid of pathogens that may enter the site of treatment.
Moreover, reputable doctors will ensure that before they bring in a patient for the PRP process and inject the serum, the treatment site is well-sterilized.
2. Allergic Reactions Can Be Avoided
When a foreign medicine or food is introduced to the body, it automatically rejects it, causing allergic reactions. Antibodies are developed to cope with the foreign substance, and the patient starts to feel allergic.
However, PRP therapy makes use of the patient’s very own blood, so it is rare that the body would reject its own tissues and platelets. If your body does reject the treatment, there could be other factors at play, such as the metal used in the instruments when injecting the plasma. Usually, doctors check with the patients to see if they have any prior allergies so, if an allergic reaction occurs, this could be a mishap on the hospital’s part.
An allergic reaction can also be brought on by medication that the patient was using previously. Hence, it is vital to inform practitioners in case of any prescriptions that you have been taking before the PRP therapy process. In some cases, doctors may tell you to go off the medication you have been taking a few weeks before and after the treatment.
Epinephrine is a common PRP serum added in the injection before it is injected into the patient’s body. This helps keep any kind of pain minimal and also ensures that there are no possible side effects. Epinephrine is mainly used as a medicine to keep allergic reactions at bay.
3. Possibility of Clotting is Low
Blood clots do not usually occur when undergoing PRP therapy. However, if the practitioner pricks a blood vessel, such as an artery or vein, blood clots may start to appear in the treatment region when injecting the serum.
However, this can be completely avoided. Doctors usually use digital imaging gadgets, such as ultrasound or fluoroscopy, so that the needle can be injected into the correct area of treatment without raising any problems or causing any blood clots.
- Minimal Pain
Pain in the affected area, as well as discomfort, is a common complaint after the PRP procedure. To reduce this, most practitioners will provide their patients with painless PRP injections. This means that the doctors will use numbing agents, such as local anesthesia, on the affected area before pricking it with a needle.
Moreover, at the end of the PRP therapy session, painkillers will be prescribed to deal with any discomfort that may occur. Sometimes, epinephrine, bupivacaine, and lignocaine can also be mixed with the PRP serum to get rid of any chances of pain or discomfort.
5. Swelling and Redness
When the blood sample is extracted for the PRP serum, there may be some signs of bruising and discolorations on the skin. Moreover, the affected area may also show signs of swelling, as well as redness.
Keep in mind that these are only after-effects of the PRP injections and will subside over a period of two days. Swelling means that the affected area has started to heal, proving that the PRP therapy session was successful. In case you bruise easily, you will be able to notice purplish-blue marks on the skin- don’t let these scare you. Your doctor may tell you to apply bits of ice on the area to bring the swelling down.
PRP therapy is considered to be an extremely low-risk process as it does not harm the body. The use of the patient’s own blood and platelets ensure that no complications will arise. Moreover, before going through with the therapy process, doctors thoroughly screen patients to ensure that there will be no PRP contradictions. A patient’s medical history, lifestyle, and genetic conditions will be asked about for record-keeping. Moreover, a practitioner will also inquire about the patients:
- Platelet levels
- Hemoglobin counts
- Existing infections in the area where the injection will be administered
- Fever or recent illness
- Skin infections
- Liver disease
- Any habit of drinking or smoking.
Rest assured, PRP treatment is completely safe. It is commonly used by athletes to prepare before a big game and is currently entering the medical industry as well. PRP injections are being used for cardiac surgeries to promote healing, as well as for skin rejuvenation facials and to deal with hair loss.
The medical industry has greatly prospered by the discovery of PRP therapy injections, as millions of people swear by its effectiveness. What’s stopping you from reaping the benefits?