Dysphagia

Swallowing impairments (dysphagia) may be caused by stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, Alzheimer's disease, cancer of the mouth/throat/esophagus, head and neck injuries/surgeries, or poor dentition. Dysphagia significantly affects quality of life and can ultimately cause respiratory infections such as aspiration pneumonia. Eating is a social activity, provides pleasure, and can usually be preserved with alternative textures or liquid, compensatory strategies or exercise regimen. We offer intensive Ampcare ESP (neuromuscular electrical stimulation) and Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy for those who are determined to be appropriate candidates. 


Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES)- American  Speech-Langauge-Hearing Association (ASHA) refers to FEES as a portable procedure that may be completed in outpatient clinic space or at bedside by passing an endoscope transnasally (Langmore et al., 1988). FEES may be recommended regardless of setting (e.g., hospital, skilled nursing facility). FEES is used without concerns of radiation exposure and can be used within therapeutic contexts and for diagnostic therapy to assess current progress and effectiveness of therapy. If there are clinical indications for a laryngoscopy evaluation (e.g., hoarse voice, pain on swallowing), the speech-language pathologist (SLP) may consider consulting with a physician regarding a referral to an otolaryngologist to rule out the possibility of disease in the nasal, pharyngeal, or laryngeal region. 


Rural Rehabilitation Services, LLC is a private practice of speech-language pathologists who provide dysphagia diagnostic services. We offer our services, specifically Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) to our patients and our facilities.


According to American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA), this procedure is within our scope of practice as Speech-Language Pathologist and an efficacious method of assessing pharyngeal dysphagia. 


As dysphagia specialists, we work to be current in the latest research regarding swallowing disorders and work to recommend an appropriate and safe plan for patients to continue with the least amount of restrictions, while remaining safe. 

 

If you or your facility are interested in adding this service, please contact 

Jessie.