Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy involves injection of the
patient’s own platelets for the cosmetic treatment of wrinkles or scars in the
face, hands, and neck. Known to some as the “vampire facelift” (a
term trademarked by Alabama cosmetic surgeon Charles Runels), it is less
invasive than plastic surgery, takes about 60-120 minutes for each treatment,
and offers improvements for up to 18 months.
To learn more about the role of PRP therapy in cosmetics, we
interviewed Dr. Bridghid McMonagle.
Dr. Bridghid McMonagle graduated from Bastyr University and
completed a residency at the National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM) where
she performed rotations at the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU)
involving dermatology, gastroenterology, women’s health, and emergency care.
She is certified in Ozone therapies, Wilson Temperature Protocol, LENS
neurofeedback system, IV therapy, and has taken several seminars regarding
bioidentical hormones, heavy metal chelation, neurofeedback, and injection
Dr. McMonagle was the first certified ozone practitioner in
Oregon. She has trained extensively in ozone and PRP therapies. Dr. McMonagle
has trained with Dr. Frank Shallenberger, Dr. Robert Rowen, Dr. Howard Robbins,
Dr. Adrianna Schwartz, Dr. Lohadny and many more. The clinic offers the most
extensive options in ozone therapies that we know of in Oregon.
LOHC: What is the rationale behind the use of PRP
therapy to improve facial appearance?
Dr. McMonagle: A steady trend over the past 15 years
has been for patients to seek less-invasive procedures for facial rejuvenation.
PRP has been used by surgeons for many years to speed up soft-tissue healing
from sports injuries as well as to treat burn victims and patients with severe
ulcers. It is also used as an adjunct to implant therapy in dentistry. We have
found PRP therapy to be very effective not only for joint regeneration and
chronic pain but also for its anti-aging benefits.
PRP is now being used cosmetically to treat volume loss in
the face, hands, and neck — particularly the thin, loose skin under the eyes
and neck — as well acne scarring and stretch marks.
LOHC: By what mechanisms do injections of PRP restore
Dr. McMonagle: Platelets contain substances called
“growth factors” that can help activate and rejuvenate cells in our
body. Unlike fillers that use various synthetic substances, PRP uses the
patient’s natural biology to address skin defects and volume loss, triggering
production of new cells and collagen formation.
LOHC: How long does the procedure take, and how is it
Dr. McMonagle: This cutting-edge rejuvenation can be
60-120 minutes depending on your treatment requests. Using our specialized PRP
filler take more time.
LOHC: What type of results can generally be expected?
Dr. McMonagle: If we are using the PRP filler,
results are immediate. The PRP microneedling technique will start to show
effects over the next several weeks to months. Some patients report still
noticing a difference after 1 treatment 3 years prior.
LOHC: What are the risks or complications?
Dr. McMonagle: Because this PRP filler and PRP is
made from the patient’s own blood, there
are limited risks. Patients can expect some bruising.
LOHC: For what types of patients is this procedure
most and least suitable?
Dr. McMonagle: Any patient who wishes to improve
volume loss, fine lines, and textural changes of the skin is suitable for this
procedure. It also appeals to the patient who is looking for a natural approach
to volumizing the face and treating or reducing fine lines. Everyone’s
platelets are different. Patients tend to see better results if they are
already working with us to improve their health first.
LOHC: How long are the improvements maintained? If
necessary, can the procedure be repeated, and if so, with what anticipated
Dr. McMonagle: PRP can be repeated, and better
results are seen with a total of 2-3 treatments given 3-4 months apart.
Patients can expect to see better results as they receive more treatments. With
time, the results of PRP get better and better.
LOHC: How does PRP therapy compare with injections of
filler, Botox(Botox® Cosmetic; Allergan, Inc; Irvine, California), or surgical
Dr. McMonagle: PRP improves collagen over time,
whereas traditional filler breaks down over time.
LOHC: What is your overall opinion of the role that
PRP therapy should play in facial restoration?
Dr. McMonagle: PRP therapy is very promising in
facial restoration. Results are optimal when patients receive a combination of
PRP, PRP dermal fillers, and systemic ozone therapies.