Q: Dr. Eppley, I have read a lot about the Vampre Facelift and wanted to know what you think about it. While the name sounds a little creepy, using your own blood to help make you look younger seems like it might work.
A:Platelets are ubiquitous cellular fragments in the blood stream that is most known for helping blood clot. But platelets also make a major contribution to wound healing as they contain a multitude of growth factors which are well known to help repair and regenerate connective tissues. Application of these growth factors in high concentrations through platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has been used as an adjunct to wound healing for almost 20 years.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is blood plasma that has a high concentration of platelets due to processing techniques. A small amount of blood can be drawn from the patient and the platelets removed from it by centrifugation. This creates a platelet concentrate gel that can be added to a variety of plastic surgery procedures such as facelifts and fat grafts to theoretically improve their results through the delivery of its growth factors.
While PRP can be used alone, a variety of aesthetic facial procedures have been developed that combine it with different types of injectable fillers. Marketed brand names such as Selphyl and the Vampire Facelift create either a platelet-rich fibrin matrix or are used in conjunction with other well known fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane. The benefits of PRP in these facial rejuvenation techniques, while theoretically appealing, has not been fully substantiated in widespread clinical use and ongoing patient studies continue to evaluate this autologous therapy in aesthetic surgery.
Dr. Barry Eppley
Q: Dr. Eppley,I have read that you are familiar with using platelet-rich plasma. (PRP) I have an unusual inquiry. In certain countries in Europe, they inject PRP into the nasal lining and sidewalls and turbinates to restore function and regrowth of the lining. I can send the article and I was wondering if you could do this. They say it adds volume and helps the lining function better from prior surgery.
A: I have read many ‘unconventional’ uses for PRP, but must admit that I am unfamiliar with its potential use in the nasal linings. As an autologous material, its use there would certainly be safe with no untoward effects. I could not attest, obviously, to its effectiveness for this use and would be happy to review any article that reports on it. Doing the procedure would be no different than any other PRP procedure using a 60cc blood draw from the patient. Centrifugation of the extract is then done to create an approximate 3cc concentrate of platelets.
Dr. Barry Eppley
Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in using PRP for lip augmentation. I am looking for something more natural and longer-lasting other than the typical injectable fillers. Can PRP be put into the lips and how well does it work?
A: PRP can be injected into the lips just like anywhere else. It is not a question as to whether it can be done but whether it should be done. Will it create a lasting augmentative effect beyond that of a short-term fluid distention is the question. There is no medical evidence that it would nor would I biologically understand why it would. PRP is not a filler material per se but rather an adjunctive healing agent. It has no primary effect on its own such as creating more collagen than would normally exist in an otherwise healthy tissue site. The PRP I have put into the lips has been combined with fat to offer a higher probability of a sustained effect. It is the fat that is the filler and the PRP is added for its theoretical benefit on helping fat cells to survive or in helping stem cells to convert to fat cells. This is the most natural lip augmentation injection treatment but it is unproven as to how sustained or permanent the lip enhancement effect is.
Dr. Barry Eppley