Understanding the Difference Between PRP and PRF

As platelet-rich plasma treatment becomes more mainstream, people are starting to recognize the term “PRP” in reference to aesthetic or medical procedures. Less familiar is platelet-rich fibrin, or “PRF.” What’s the difference between the two, and when are they used for different types of procedures?

The CellBionics Institute has two locations, in Sterling, Virginia and Utica, New York. At both locations, Dr. Nameer Haider provides PRP and PRF treatment to patients requiring regenerative care. Here’s how the two differ and when it’s appropriate to use one over the other.

Platelet-rich plasma

Doctors make PRP by drawing a sample of your blood into a vial. They’ll add a small amount of anticoagulant to the vial, to prevent the blood from clotting, then centrifuge it at a high speed to separate the different components.

Platelets and plasma rise to the top of the tube to mix with the anticoagulant, while heavier white and red blood cells go to the bottom. Your doctor draws off the platelet-rich plasma, and injects it into the prepared site on your body, usually a joint that’s injured or the cause of chronic pain 

PRP contains growth factors that encourage tissue regeneration, and attracts other healing factors from elsewhere in the body to the site of the injection and injury. This encourages healing processes to begin and boosts their efficacy, leading to a faster recovery with less inflammation and pain.

PRP delivers rapid release of maximum growth factors, and is ideal for acute musculoskeletal injuries.

Platelet-rich fibrin

Platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) differs from PRP in that the doctor doing the preparation adds no anticoagulant to the vial, and they’ll centrifuge it at a lower speed, so the components aren’t completely separated.

The plasma and platelets still rise to the top, but they’re mixed with a small amount of other blood factors, including red and white blood cells in a fibrin network rich in leukocytes and cytokines for additional healing power.

PRF releases growth factors much more slowly into your system, making it an ideal choice for use in spine care where a slower dissemination of the material is desired for a longer-lasting effect. 

Dr. Haider uses PRP and PRF in regenerative treatments based on how short- or long-term the injury is. A consultation can help you learn more, as well as decide the best mode of treatment for your condition. To get in touch with Dr. Haider and his team, call the location near you, or book an appointment online

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