Swallowing Disorders


Dysphagia is the medical term used to describe difficulty swallowing. This problem can be caused by abnormal functioning of the mouth (oral cavity), throat (pharynx and larynx), and the "food tube" (esophagus). Common symptoms of dysphagia include coughing or choking when eating, feeling of food or liquid getting "stuck" in the mouth or throat, and feeling as though you need to clear your throat frequently when eating.

The Laryngology team at the KU Voice and Swallow Center evaluates and treats swallowing disorders caused by any number of medical problems including head and neck cancer, neurological conditions, traumatic exposure, autoimmune conditions and gastrointestinal disorders. 

Non-instrumental evaluation can be completed in the clinic; however, limited information can be obtained from this type of testing. Instrumental evaluations include Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES), Modified Barium Swallow Evaluation (MBSE), Transnasal Esophagoscopy (TNE), and Pharyngeal pH Study. Referrals are often made for Esophageal pH study and Manometry as well. The method of evaluation and subsequent treatment program is selected based upon each patient's clinical history and results of previous testing.

Dysphagia therapy is often recommended to maintain or rehabilitate swallow function. Several types of dysphagia therapy are available based upon recommendations provided from instrumental evaluation. Therapy types availabe include traditional therapy and the McNeill Dysphagia Therapy Program.

If you are concerned that you are having difficulty swallowing, we welcome the opportunity to serve you.

Last modified: Jun 07, 2017
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