Yesterday I had a patient who was considering chelation therapy ask, “How do you know if it works?” This particular patient had a 5 vessel bypass several years ago and was looking to avoid any further surgeries.
I explained to him that often times when patients come in for chelation they are experiencing angina chest pain associated with coronary vascular disease. In this situation, we know that chelation is working when it eliminates the anginal pain.
If a patient has no vascular disease but does not have any current symptoms then the only way to know if the chelation is effective is to have a repeat doppler study (as in the case of carotid artery disease) or a repeat angiogram ( in the case of coronary heart disease). Just by coincidence earlier this week I had a patient who 10 months ago did a series of 20 chelation treatments for carotid artery occlusion. Before starting chelation she had a blockage of 70% on the right and 40% on the left. She informed me that when she had the doppler repeated after chelation it showed 40% occlusion on the right and 0% on the left.
Over the years I have seen chelation save and prolong many lives.