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.