The use of platelet-rich plasma in plastic surgery: a systematic review

J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2013 Mar;66(3):301-11. doi: 10.1016/j.bjps.2012.11.009. Epub 2012 Dec 11.


Objective: The study's aim was to evaluate the available evidence regarding the use of platelet-rich plasma in plastic and reconstructive surgery, through implementation of a systematic review of the literature.

Data sources: PubMed and The Cochrane Library were searched using MeSH terms: 'platelet rich plasma' and 'plastic surgery' for all publications up to July 2011. All English, German, French and Dutch papers were included. In addition, the reference lists of relevant articles were searched for potentially appropriate publications.

Study selection: Included studies needed to report on topics related to plastic and reconstructive surgery, mentioning at least one clinical end point. Both in vivo and in vitro comparative studies, performed in humans or animals, were included. A total of 82 publications were found, of which 40 studies met the inclusion criteria and were relevant to be used in this systematic review.

Data extraction: Data from retrieved studies were reviewed and tabulated according to year of publication, study design, human or animal studies, characteristics of the population, mode of application, outcomes and preparation method.

Data synthesis: A total of 15 randomised controlled trials and 25 case-control studies were found. Thirty-six publications demonstrated favourable outcomes with the use of platelet-rich plasma. The included articles were divided into three topics related to plastic surgery: wound healing, fat grafting and bone grafting.

Conclusions: This systematic review describes a substantially beneficial effect of platelet-rich plasma for several indications, including a better wound healing rate, an increased survival rate of fat grafts and an enhancement of bone graft regeneration.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Transfusion / methods*
  • Bone Transplantation / methods
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Esthetics
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Platelet Transfusion / methods
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Skin Transplantation / methods
  • Surgery, Plastic / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wound Healing / physiology*