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Swallowing Disorders

Swallowing Disorders services offered in Raleigh, Wake Forest, Cary, Clayton, Wilson, Henderson, Smithfield and Fuquay-Varina, NC

Swallowing Disorders

About Swallowing Disorders

Feeling like your food won’t go down or choking when you swallow is alarming and dangerous. If you develop a swallowing disorder, contact Wake Endoscopy’s office in Raleigh, Wake Forest, Cary, Clayton, or Wilson, North Carolina. The practice’s highly skilled gastroenterology team has exceptional experience diagnosing and treating swallowing disorders using the most advanced techniques and technologies. Call the nearest Wake Endoscopy office to request an evaluation or schedule a consultation online today.

Swallowing Disorders Q&A

What are swallowing disorders?

Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) causes two problems:

Oropharyngeal dysphagia

Oropharyngeal dysphagia affects your ability to swallow before food reaches your esophagus. You might feel your food is in the wrong pipe and experience choking or coughing after swallowing.

Esophageal dysphagia 

With esophageal dysphagia, swallowing difficulties originate in your esophagus. Food sticks in your esophagus or chest, or there may be a problem with the esophagus, itself. 

These swallowing disorders affect your nutrition and cause daily symptoms.  

What causes swallowing disorders?

You might develop a swallowing disorder for various reasons, including:

  • Achalasia
  • GERD
  • Eosinophilic esophagitis
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Esophageal rings and webs
  • Stroke
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Myasthenia gravis

Wake Endoscopy offers advanced diagnostic services to determine the cause of your swallowing disorder.

How are swallowing disorders diagnosed?

Your symptoms likely indicate a swallowing disorder, but determining its source is vital to ensure you get the correct treatment. After reviewing your medical history and carrying out a physical exam, your provider may recommend further tests, which could include:

24-hour esophageal pH impedance

24-hour esophageal pH impedance studies measure the quantity of stomach contents refluxing into your esophagus over 24 hours. This determines if reflux is your swallowing disorder’s underlying cause. 

Esophageal manometry

Esophageal manometry assesses esophagus function. It involves having a catheter (slim, flexible tube) inserted in your esophagus, and it measures pressure changes as it’s withdrawn.

Gastrointestinal endoscopy

Gastrointestinal endoscopy or esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) identifies esophagus and stomach abnormalities. The Wake Endoscopy team passes a flexible fiberoptic pipe into your mouth and down your throat into the esophagus. This lets your provider view the esophagus tissues.

What treatments might help my swallowing disorder?

The Wake Endoscopy team designs an individualized treatment plan based on your type of dysphagia, its severity, and your symptoms. Treatments may include:

  • Swallowing therapy
  • Esophageal dilation (stretching your esophagus)
  • Medication for GERD or motility problems

If you have an esophageal tumor, you might need surgery to restore normal swallowing function.

Call Wake Endoscopy to arrange a swallowing disorder evaluation or book an appointment online today.