Dr. John Young, MD
(727) 545-4600
Largo, FL

I try to keep up with the literature in medicine but with 8,000 medical articles published daily, it is hard to stay current. Now, I know many doctors hate it when a patient brings in a medical article to read, but I don’t mind as long as it is not 50 pages! My patients read a lot of articles so I also use them to keep me up-to-date. Recently, a patient brought in a medical article from Brazil where they took Crohn’s patients and treated them with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP).

PRP is the result of spinning blood down in a centrifuge, allowing the PRP to separate from the red blood cells. The PRP is loaded with immune regulatory products along with platelet growth factor. You can get PRP very easily by centrifuging 40mL of blood for about 15 minutes and the clean/yellow solution at the top of the tube is PRP.

In the aforementioned study from Brazil, the patients were:
• Injected with 2.5mL of PRP subcutaneously (just under the skin)
• Injected into the upper periumbilical area (just above the navel)
• Injected once a week for a period of 12 weeks.

The researcher noted that all of the markers of inflammation normalized and the pain and symptoms of Crohn’s went away. For some patients in the study, the pain left as quickly as 2-3 days along with the symptoms being relieved that fast. 80% of the people in the study showed significant improvements in their signs and symptoms.

What I find interesting is that PRP is so cheap to use, it is safe because it is from your own blood, any physician could do it, and it is not a drug! People are finding more and more uses for PRP. For instance, The Journal of Urology showed a study where 12 patients’ body had formed a fistula – an abnormal tube-like structure that the body has formed – from the bladder to the vagina. A fistula usually is a sign and symptom of underlying issues and the typical treatment is surgical exploration to cut out this tract. Instead, they injected some PRP into the wall of the fistula and a PRP glue was placed inside of the fistula. 11 of the 12 patients had complete resolution. There were no infections, no more urinary incontinence, no more fecal incontinence, and no voiding dysfunction.

Check with your doctor because PRP may be for you! We have found that insurances often cover this; if not, the treatment can be very affordable plus it could save you from surgery! I hope this is helpful and encouraging!

John Young, M.D.