Dr. Daniel Lebowitz Talks Platelet Rich Plasma
by Phil Gutis
Dr. Daniel Lebowitz, M.D., has practiced as a highly specialized board certified diagnostic and interventional radiologist for nearly 10 years, with advanced training in minimally invasive procedures, age management, hormone replacement, aesthetic and regenerative medicine. Lebowitz and his World Wellness Health Institute in Bala Cynwyd excel in evaluating medical imaging to diagnose anatomically based diseases. Lebowitz offers innovative and exclusive procedures to help patients look and feel their best at any age. In a recent interview with Natural Awakenings, he discussed platelet rich plasma injections and how they can help us look and feel our best.
What are platelet rich plasma injections and what problems can they help?
Platelet rich plasma injections are simple procedures in which a person’s own healing cells and platelets are employed to help the body heal injuries or naturally regenerate the body’s tissues. The injections can be used in joints, cartilage, tendons, ligaments and muscles to coax nagging injuries to heal. They can also be used for skin rejuvenation, hair restoration, scar healing, sexual rejuvenation/enhancement and more. Platelet rich plasma stimulates the body to create new, younger, healthier tissue wherever it is injected.
What are platelets?
Platelets are a basic component of our blood that normally leak out of the blood near injured tissues once a vein or artery is ruptured. The cells that are injured initiate signals that let the platelets know where to go to activate and release growth factors that start the healing process.
How do plasma injections work?
Platelet rich plasma injections take advantage of the process initiated by injured cells in a very simple way. A small amount of blood is drawn from the patient and is run through a centrifuge to extract out only the platelets and plasma. This mixture is added to calcium and is then injected back into the area of injury or the area where rejuvenation is desired. Normally, the body performs this “treatment” all by itself, but there are times when the healing process is stalled, either because of the age of the patient or the location of the injury. For older patients, in particular, we can help the body to heal or rejuvenate by adding PRP. The activated platelets in the PRP release high concentrations of proteins called growth factors. The growth factors initiate a healing process, and also activate regenerative cells known as stem cells to literally regrow healthy new cells, collagen, blood vessels, nerve endings, cartilage—whatever is needed—at the site of injection.
Over time, this process will reverse pain and inflammation, and will cause healthy, youthful tissue to grow. Injured cells send out distress signals which attract the activated platelets brought in through the PRP. The newly arrived growth factors now motivate the healthy cells to multiply and replace the injured or dead cells. The healing process is then in full gear.
Sounds fairly easy. Are there any well-known people who have used PRP?
Dozens of professional athletes have used PRP to treat injuries. Those who have successfully had PRP procedures include: golfer Tiger Woods, tennis’s Rafael Nadal, basketball’s Kobe Bryant, football’s Troy Polamalu and baseball’s Alex Rodriguez. A number of celebrities have also used PRP to rejuvenate the face, including actresses Anna Friel and Angelina Jolie, model Bar Refaeli and Kim Kardashian.
What types of PRP procedures do you offer at the World Wellness Health Institute?
PRP procedures that we offer include: facial rejuvenation (Vampire Facial/Vampire Facelift), female sexual enhancement and urinary incontinence therapy (O Shot), male sexual enhancement (Priapus Shot), natural breast enhancement (Vampire Breast Lift), hair restoration (Vampire Hair Therapy) and PRP for musculoskeletal injuries.
Phil Gutis is a contributing writer and editor for Natural Awakenings. Connect with him at PhilGutis@gmail.com. December 2014.