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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
- Toxic (drug induced)
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.