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

Platelet Physiology and Platelet-rich Plasma Science

Platelets play a vital role in the initiation of hemostasis and wound healing, setting the pace for wound repair.[10,11] In response to tissue and vascular damage, a platelet plug is formed, with subsequent release of biologically active proteins. These proteins, released from alpha-granules within the platelet, initiate a cascade of events leading to tissue healing and regeneration.[12] Although constituting only 10 percent of platelet volume, over 30 biologically active proteins are released, including transforming growth factor-β, platelet-derived growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor, fibroblast growth factor, and epithelial cell growth factor. These factors not only aid in coagulation but drive angiogenesis and promote wound repair.[13–18] Proposed therapeutic effects from platelet-rich plasma result from locally released growth factors within the target tissue. Table 1 lists the common growth factors within platelet-rich plasma and their proposed mechanism of action.[19–23]