Difficulty in swallowing – dysphagia – is one of the most common sequelae of a neurological disease. Approx. 50% of stroke patients suffer from this disorder during the acute phase. Since dysphagia can lead to severe complications and consequences, particularly careful and efficient treatment is required. While malnutrition, aspiration-related pulmonary complications and particulate food matter blocking the airways can be life-threatening, dysphagia patients experience the disorder as a dramatic decrease in quality of life. Fast, efficient and safe diagnosis of swallowing disorder is an essential precondition for adequate therapy.
Our diagnostic work-up encompasses three modules:
- Screening to detect high-risk patients with impending aspiration quickly and reliably
- Clinical dysphagia examination which allows us to design a detailed therapy and diet plan
- If indicated video-laryngoscopy (performed in cooperation with an in-house internal medicine specialist) or video-fluorography (in cooperation with an external specialist)
Diagnostic procedures are regularly repeated to evaluate and document therapy progress. Dysphagia therapy at St. Mauritius follows evidence-based methods developed in functional dysphagia therapy (FDT). Depending on the status of the individual patient different therapy approaches are selected: stimulation, restitution, compensation or adaptation (e.g. dysphagia diet).