Bethesda Hospital East

Swallowing Rehabilitation

 

Bethesda Rehabilitation Programs offer comprehensive swallowing therapy services for inpatients and outpatients upon physician referral.  Swallowing therapy begins with a clinical or instrumental examination, a procedure that allows observation of the swallowing process as patients take in different types and consistencies of food and drink. 
 
If safe swallowing is possible, a regular or modified diet is selected. Treatment may include changes in food consistency, body or head position adjustments, bite size or feeding rate changes, swallowing maneuvers, therapeutic strategies or a combination of these practices.
 

A swallowing evaluation team consists of a speech-language pathologist with specific dysphagia management experience and a radiologist for videofluoroscopic swallowing studies.  Both the patient and referring physician are included in the process. 
 

Prior to the examination, patients may eat or drink in their usual mode of intake.  A small amount of food or drink in varying consistencies (infused with barium or dye) is swallowed during the studies. 

 

Coughing? Choking?  Wet, gurgly voice?

These are common complaints of patients who have dysphagia, or abnormal swallowing, who may benefit from swallowing rehabilitation.  Other signs and symptoms include:

  • Pneumonia
  • Weight loss 
  • Refusal to eat 
  • Drooling
  • Slow chewing or eating 
  • Coated or crusty tongue 
  • Food leaking from the mouth or nose 
  • Pocketing of food in the mouth 
  • Difficulty initiating swallowing 
  • Chronic respiratory distress 
  • Pain or discomfort during swallowing 
  • Lump in throat 
  • Loss of breath during meals

Contact Us

To schedule an appointment, call Central Scheduling at 561.374.5700.
For more information about Bethesda's Swallowing Rehabilitation Program, call 561.292.4960.