Platelet-Rich Plasma: Evolving Role in Plastic Surgery

Edward S. Chamata, M.D.; Erica L. Bartlett, M.D.; David Weir, N.P.-C.; Rod J. Rohrich, M.D.


Plast Reconstr Surg. 2021;147(1):219-230. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background: The use of platelet-rich plasma has emerged as one of the most desired nonsurgical treatments for facial rejuvenation and hair restoration. It has grown to encompass a wide variety of applications within the field of plastic surgery, including its use in combination with microneedling, laser, and fat-grafting procedures.

Methods: In this article, the authors aim to (1) describe the preparation process of platelet-rich plasma; (2) discuss the proposed science behind platelet-rich plasma with regard to its evolving role in hair restoration and facial rejuvenation; and (3) highlight the recent literature examining its widespread use.

Results: Based on the available literature, there is a therapeutic advantage to the use of platelet-rich plasma as a single treatment modality for alopecia and skin rejuvenation and in combination with laser skin treatment and fat grafting. There is, however, a considerable amount of variability in the processing, preparation, and treatment modalities.

Conclusions: Despite a lack of standardized protocols for platelet-rich plasma preparation and a scarcity of large-scale studies with long-term follow-up, there is convincing evidence with objective measurement modalities that display positive outcomes after treatment for skin rejuvenation, hair regrowth, wound healing, and fat graft take.


The use of platelet-rich plasma in the medical arena has grown exponentially in the past few years, with claims of regenerative and restorative properties. Originally used for the treatment of dermatologic and oromaxillofacial conditions, it has since grown within other clinical specialties such as orthopedic and plastic surgery.[1] Dermatologic and plastic surgical uses include facial rejuvenation, androgenic alopecia, acne scarring, and fat grafting, among others.[2] Studies have shown improvements in wrinkles, skin texture, facial volume, and hair regrowth.[3] Other clinical trials have shown promising results with regard to tissue healing.[4–7] Recent literature has emerged with objective measurements to delineate the true efficacy of platelet-rich plasma; however, a lack of large-scale studies exists.[8] To date, no standardized protocol for platelet-rich plasma preparation and treatment has been established. Classification systems have been suggested to aid with standardization, but these have not yet been broadly implemented.[3,9] In this article, we aim to discuss the proposed physiology, preparation, and clinical use of platelet-rich plasma, and to highlight the objective data supporting its widespread use.