This article is from the Alternative Medicine Therapies guide.
At your first visit the physician will take a thorough medical history, review your previous medical records, and do a full physical examination. An electrocardiogram, blood flow studies to the legs, a CT scan of the vessels surrounding the heart, and tests for levels of toxic metals in the body may be ordered to confirm a diagnosis that would benefit from chelation therapy.
Since chelation will alter some blood chemistries, the doctor will also order certain tests as baseline studies--usually a blood count, chemistry profile, and urinalysis. During your first visit, an actual chelation treatment won't be performed. You'll receive treatment once the preliminary tests have been evaluated by the practitioner.
Chelation is painless and usually takes two to three hours per session. You recline comfortably while the EDTA is infused, usually through a vein in the arm or the back of the hand. The attending physician--an M.D. or D.O. (osteopathic doctor) trained in its use--monitors your blood pressure, blood sugar, and kidney function prior to and throughout the treatment.
The number of treatments needed depends on your initial condition and how well you tolerate the infusions. Usually one or two visits each week are prescribed, with a total of 40 sessions required if chelation is prescribed for a heart or vascular condition. The total cost could run as high as $4,000. (Treatment for metal poisoning usually involves 20 to 50 sessions.)