Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Trouble Swallowing Treatment

The treatment for difficulty swallowing depends on the underlying cause. Physical therapy is helpful for those who have damage to the part of the brain that controls swallowing. Physical therapy may also be helpful for those who have damage to the nerves that control the throat and esophagus. Unfortunately, these causes can result in permanent difficulty swallowing.

A foreign body may be removed from the esophagus with an endoscope. Irritation of the esophagus, such as reflux esophagitis, responds well to medications. In some cases, surgery is required to repair the esophagus.

Treatment for difficulty swallowing may include:

  • Endoscopy for dysphagia:
    • Dilate the esophagus to improve the passage of food through the esophagus
    • Removal of a foreign object from the esophagus
  • Physical therapy for dysphagia
    • Swallowing exercises
  • Liquid diet
  • Antacid:
  • Acid-blocker medication:
  • Surgery for dysphagia:
    • To repair the esophagus

Trouble Swallowing Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat difficulty swallowing:

Continue to Trouble Swallowing Home Care

Last Updated: Jun 13, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Trouble Swallowing References
  1. Achem SR, Devault KR. Dysphagia in aging. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2005 May-Jun;39(5):357-71. [15815202]
  2. Cook IJ, Kahrilas PJ. AGA technical review on management of oropharyngeal dysphagia. Gastroenterology. 1999 Feb;116(2):455-78. [9922328]
  3. Leslie P, Drinnan MJ, Ford GA, Wilson JA. Swallow respiratory patterns and aging: presbyphagia or dysphagia? J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2005 Mar;60(3):391-5. [15860480]
  4. Rubenstein JH, Inadomi JM. Dysphagia drives doctors to diagnose a disease: pitfalls in interpreting observational studies. Gastrointest Endosc. 2005 Jun;61(7):809-11. [15933680]
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