Dysphagia Clinic


Inpatients and outpatients with a swallowing problem due to a disorder in the mouth, larynx and/or throat are seen in the Dysphagia Clinic for evaluation and treatment.  An evaluation includes a video fluoroscopic swallowing study or modified barium swallow.  This procedure is recorded on videotape for analysis of the anatomy and the physiological functions of the oropharyngeal area during swallowing.  Frequently compensatory strategies such a tilting the head forward, thickening liquids, small food bites, and alternating food and liquid swallows is all that is needed to avoid or significantly reduce penetration of material into the larynx.  Patients with a severe swallowing problem generally need a feeding tube.  Physicians rely heavily on the swallowing evaluation to help them decide whether or not a feeding tube is needed.  Often, management of these patients involves other services including dental, dietetics, occupational therapy, and/or otolaryngology to better help the patient. The Dysphagia Clinic services include screening, family counseling and observation of inpatients during meals.