Dysphagia, the medical term for difficulty swallowing, involves the treatment of all stages of oropharyngeal and esophageal swallowing. Dysphagia is subsequently broken down into multiple stages of the swallowing system. Dysfunction can occur in the oral preparatory stage (when food or liquid is moved in the mouth, preparing for the act of swallowing), the pharyngeal stage (when the food/liquid is moved through the throat/pharynx triggering a different set of nerves/muscles to propel the food into the esophagus), and the esophageal stage (when the food is carried through the esophagus into the stomach). Each stage of swallowing is subsequently treated differently and many exercise programs, diet modifications or compensatory postures and/or maneuvers exist to facilitate improvement in swallowing function.The use of a Fiber-optic Endoscopic Examination (FEES) involves passing a flexible endoscope gently through the nose to the top of the throat/pharynx to directly view the pharynx during swallowing. This allows for real food product to be utilized without the presences of a radiopaque contrast used to coat the food and/or throat and allows for imaging without radiation used during a fluoroscopic swallowing study ( x-ray study often called a modified barium or barium swallow). **This imaging does not allow assessment of the esophagus peristalsis/transit and full esophageal imaging may require additional imaging as determined by your physician.

Evaluation in-office with the use of state of state of art Endoscopic imaging equipment (FEES) allows for both physiologic and sensory assessment with Otolaryngologist collaboration and review. Subsequent treatment plans as indicated following the examination. For more specific information related to the evaluation and treatment of swallowing disorders please go to www.swallowingdisorders.com

Dysphagia Conditions we treat:

  • Hand and neck cancer (Multiple Locations)
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Scleoderma
  • Dementia
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Placement of a tracheotomy tube
  • Stroke
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • ALS
  • Post-Polio syndrome
  • Polymyositis
  • Cervical spine surgery

Center for Voice and Swallowing offers the following dysphagia services:

  • FEES-fiberoptic endoscopic examination of swallowing
  • FEEST-fiberoptic endoscopic examination of swallowing with sensory testing
  • Clinical Swallowing Examination – examination of the act of swallowing various consistencies of food to more thoroughly define dysfunction.