The Swallowing Center at Loyola Medicine offers state-of-the-art care for swallowing disorders. Patients suffering from swallowing disorders may complain of trouble swallowing, frequent heartburn or acid reflux. Swallowing disorders cause a great deal of discomfort and can affect one’s enjoyment of eating and drinking.
Often, diagnosis and treatment require collaboration between surgeons, gastroenterologists, otolaryngologists, speech pathologists and pulmonologists. Loyola's multidisciplinary Swallowing Center provides this unique type of collaboration and is one of only a few centers in the United States that is solely devoted to diagnosing and treating swallowing disorders. Loyola’s expert clinicians are medically and surgically trained to treat a range of swallowing disorders, including:
- Acid reflux
- Asthma and breathing problems
- Chest pain
- Diffuse spasm
- Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
- Eosinophilic esophagitis
- Esophageal ring
- Esophageal stricture
- Esophageal tumors
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Pharyngeal diverticula
- Recurrent coughing
Early treatment of swallowing problems is very important; if left untreated, they may lead to poor nutrition, weight loss, aspiration of food or fluids into the lungs, chest pain, asthma and even esophageal cancer.
As people age, swallowing disorders become more prevalent. Difficulty swallowing can also be caused by certain medications and some medical conditions, including:
- Alzheimer's disease
- Cervical spine diseases
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Myasthenia gravis
- Parkinson's disease
- Radiation therapy to the neck
- Tumors of the head and neck
Loyola’s medical experts use a full range of leading-edge technologies and therapies to diagnose and treat swallowing disorders. This specialized approach allows a personalized treatment for each patient. Your Loyola doctor will first explore non-surgical treatments to alleviate your symptoms, including medications and swallowing therapy. If surgery is required, surgeons at Loyola’s Swallowing Center will utilize less-invasive treatments whenever possible. This offers patients a shorter hospital stay and less scarring over conventional large-incision techniques.