PRP (Platelet-rich plasma), is a substance that’s thought to promote healing when injected. Plasma is a component of your blood that contains special “factors,” or proteins, that help your blood to clot. It also contains proteins that support cell growth. Researchers have produced PRP by isolating plasma from blood and concentrating it.
Here’s what to expect from a typical PRP injection process:
- A healthcare professional will draw a sample of your blood. The amount of the sample depends on where the PRP will be injected. For example, the amount of blood taken for injection into the scalp for one studyTrusted Source was 20 milliliters. This is slightly larger than one teaspoon.
- The blood is placed into a centrifuge. This is a machine that spins around very quickly, causing the blood components to separate. The separation process takes about 15 minutes.
- A technologist takes the separated plasma and prepares it for injection into the affected area.
- Doctors will often use imaging, such as ultrasound, to pinpoint specific areas for injection, such as the tendon. Your doctor will then inject the PRP into the affected area.
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, very few insurance plans will provide any reimbursement for PRP injections. The costs must largely be paid out-of-pocket. The costs can also vary from location to location and on how the injections are used. Some of the reported costs nationwide include the following:
- ABC News 7 in San Francisco reports PRP treatments for hair loss cost $900 for one treatment and $2,500 for a set of three treatments.
- The Washington Post reports that knee injections of PRP can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,200 per treatment.
Insurance companies consider PRP an experimental treatment. More scientific research will have to conclude its effectiveness before it is more widely covered.