Swallowing Disorders

The sensation of difficult swallowing (dysphagia) is a common complaint and can lead to significant morbidity including weight loss, malnutrition, and aspiration pneumonia. Dysphagia can stem from a multitude of causes including:

  • neurologic disorders

  • infectious

  • inflammatory

  • neoplastic

  • toxic (drug induced),

  • trauma

  • diverticula

  • psychogenic

Swallowing disorders are best addressed step-wise and in a multidisciplinary fashion. Initially, a thorough medical evaluation and diagnostic work-up is instituted to determine the cause and contributing factors to the swallowing disorder.

These may include:

  • Modified barium swallow

  • Barium esophagram,

  • pH probe testing

  • Esophageal manometry,

  • Trans-nasal esophagoscopy

  • FEES (functional endoscopic evaluation of swallowing)

  • Laryngeal sensory testing

Once structural and functional defects are identified a treatment plan will be outlined which will include medical treatment, swallowing therapy, and if necessary surgical management.