The effects of platelet-rich plasma on recovery time and aesthetic outcome in facial rejuvenation: preliminary retrospective observations

Joep C N Willemsen, Berend van der Lei, Karin M Vermeulen, Hieronymus P J D Stevens

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: This study focused on the possible effect of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) on recovery time and aesthetic outcome after facial rejuvenation. We conducted a retrospective analysis with regard to recovery time and the aesthetic improvement after treatment among four groups of patients: those treated with fat grafting only (Group I), those treated with fat grafting and PRP (Group II), those treated with a minimal access cranial suspension (MACS)-lift and fat grafting (Group III), and those treated with a MACS-lift, fat grafting, and PRP (Group IV).

METHODS: For the first part of this study, i.e., evaluation of recovery time after surgery, the following selection criteria were used: nonsmoking females, aged 35-65 years, with a complete documented follow-up. In total, 82 patients were included in the evaluation of patient-reported recovery time. For the second part of the study, i.e., evaluation of potential differences in aesthetic outcome, the records of these 82 patients were screened for the presence of pre- and postoperative standardized photographs in three views (AP, lateral, and oblique), leaving 37 patients to evaluate. A questionnaire was developed to evaluate the aesthetic outcome in all four groups of patients. This questionnaire was given to an expert panel that consisted of ten plastic surgeons.

RESULTS: The addition of PRP to a lipofilling procedure resulted in a significant drop in the number of days needed to recover before returning to work or to restart social activities [Group I (no PRP) took 18.9 days vs Group II (PRP) took 13.2 days, p = 0.019]. There seemed to be no effect when PRP was added to a MACS-lift + lipofilling procedure. Also, the aesthetic outcome of the lipofilling and MACS-lift + lipofilling groups that received PRP (Groups II and IV) was significantly better than the groups without PRP (Groups I and III).

CONCLUSIONS: Adding PRP to facial lipofilling reduces recovery time and improves the overall aesthetic outcome of a MACS-lift.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE V: This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors .

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1057-1063
Number of pages7
JournalAesthetic plastic surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2014


  • Facial rejuvenation
  • Platelet-rich plasma
  • Lipofilling
  • MACS-lift
  • Fat graft survival
  • Recovery time
  • Aesthetic outcome
  • Skin rejuvenation


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