Platelets play an important role in wound healing. They provide initial control of bleeding (hemostasis) and they release mediators to help modulate the inflammatory response and many of the cellular functions involved in wound healing.
Platelet Gel is a substance that is created by harvesting platelet-rich plasma (PRP) from whole blood and combining it with thrombin and calcium or other activators to form a coagulum. This coagulum or "platelet gel" has an extremely wide-range of clinical healing uses from dental surgery to orthopedics and plastic surgery. Over the past 10 years, scientists have discovered a lot of information about stem cells, growth factors, platelets and white cells, natural healing factors that circulate in your blood. These can be safely and efficiently harvested at a high enough concentration to be of therapeutic benefit when placed in a surgical wound.
The advantages of using Platelet gel are accelerated healing, less bleeding (enhanced hemostasis) and bruising, less pain, lower risk of infection, less chance of fluid collection (seroma). Much of these effects are due to the presence of growth factors and cytokines within the platelets, and the presence of an increased concentration of white blood cells in the gel. Examples of growth factors include Platelet Derived Growth Factor and Transforming Growth Factor-beta among many others. Growth factors are proteins that impart specific biochemical messages to specific target cells through specific membrane receptors.
Platelet get is prepared by harvesting sixty cc's (two ounces) of your blood just prior to surgery. The blood is placed into a specially designed tube which is centrifuged for about 15 minutes. This concentrates up to 80% of the natural healing factors that are in your blood.
The Platelet Concentrate is placed on the sterile field and drawn into a 10cc syringe. This is paired with a 1cc syringe of calcium and purified bovine thrombin in a double-barreled syringe, much like an Epoxy gun. The contents of the syringes are mixed when the products are sprayed into the wound.
The greatest utility of Platelet Gel is the reduction of post-operative bruising, which is the primary limiting factor in presentability after facial plastic surgery. This is highly recommended for those who wish to be offered everything possible to minimize bruising.