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Denver Dysphagia Rounds is a quarterly meeting of local speech pathologists to discuss the topic of dysphagia.

Difficulty swallowing pills is very common.   And when a person has dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), any issues with pills can become even worse.   But there are a few tricks that I suggest to patients that really seem to make a difference.

The more I use myofascial release and manual therapy (MFR) at my clinic, the more I am convinced that it may be the “secret sauce” that helps my patients who have dysphagia after head and neck (H&N) cancer get better. 

One of most common questions I am asked when I teach the VitalStim Therapy course is about how to do swallowing therapy with patients who have dementia or cognitive impairments. I think the answer is not what most people expect. But first a little background about the dilemma of swallowing therapy with patients who have dementia and why this question is so frequently asked. Sw ...

Did you know that having surgery on your spine can cause swallowing problems? Contrary to what you might expect, surgeons typically perform surgery on the cervical vertebrae (bones in the neck) by going through the front of the throat to get to the spine. Since all the muscles and nerves of the throat have to be rather significantly “moved out of the way” to get to the spine, s ...

One of the Carter Swallowing Center patients’ success story was featured on CBS Channel 4 News. Joanna started at the Carter Swallowing Center being unable to swallow any foods or liquids, including her much needed medication which she could not crush and put in her feeding tube. Her not being able to eat was made worse by the fact that she is a wonderful chef for whom eatin ...

Think puree consistency foods are terrible? Well, I have to admit that most are. However, I am currently working with a woman with dysphagia that happens to be a gourmet chef, and she has completely made me re-think puree consistency food. During each therapy session she would bring in another one of her puree culinary creations for me to sample, and it was absolutely delicious ...

One of the most serious health risks to patients who have difficulty swallowing is that of developing aspiration pneumonia. “Aspiration” is the medical term for when food or liquids go into the wind pipe (trachea) and then into the lungs when swallowing. Repeated aspiration can eventually lead to pneumonia. Of course the best way to reduce the risk of aspiration pneumonia is ...

Almost every patient I see for swallowing therapy has a history of “reflux”.  The term reflux means “backflow” and describes the cause of the symptom of heartburn. But there is more to reflux than just heartburn. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is when reflux from the stomach leaks backward to the esophagus (food tube from the lower throat to the stomach).   Laryngophar ...

Patients who have had treatment for head and neck cancer are one of the most challenging populations that we dysphagia clinicians work with in therapy. One of the obstacles to helping this population is getting beyond the significant fibrotic tissue that can develop after the radiation treatment.  But there is new hope for treating this condition. Before I dive into the good news (and there is good news, so keep reading), here’s some background about the challenge.