Head & Neck Surgery
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Head and neck cancers and their treatments may impact a patient’s ability to eat and/or communicate. Many patients will benefit from speech and swallowing therapy to either address or prevent problems with communication and swallowing. Our head and neck cancer team includes expert speech-language pathologists (SLP’s) with specialized interest in the management of communication and swallowing disorders associated with head and neck cancer. Our goal is to preserve and optimize function and quality of life for all of our patients.
If you are diagnosed with head and neck cancer, you can expect to meet with a SLP before starting your treatment as well as during and after your treatment. Your comprehensive care plan will include evaluation of your current speech and swallowing function, education about changes you may experience during and after treatment, and a personalized therapy plan.
Speech & Swallowing Rehabilitation
Your Care Team
Our experts have extensive experience evaluating and treating swallowing disorders, sometimes referred to as dysphagia. Our speech-language pathologists use a number of tests to look at swallowing abilities. There are two primary tests we use to assess swallowing, video fluoroscopy and video endoscopy. Video fluoroscopy is a motion X-ray test where you will be given a variety of food consistencies mixed with barium, a white liquid that shows up clearly on an X-ray. The test measures swallowing ability from the mouth to the throat and to the esophagus if necessary. Video endoscopy is done using a small flexible endoscope that is passed through the nose to the throat. This allows us to look at the swallowing area from above. We can then watch as you swallow different foods and liquids to see how they go through the throat. These tests allow us to understand how your swallowing muscles are functioning so that we can customize your treatment plan.
Head & Neck Surgery