Swallowing Rehabilitation Program

Dysphagia: Swallowing Difficulty

Swallowing is a complex activity that requires a high degree of coordination of the mouth and throat muscles. The ability to swallow is so unnoticed that it is taken for granted until it is impaired. There are several forms of medical problems that can impair swallowing: stroke, cancer, trauma, and developmental disorders, to name a few.
The University of Florida’s Health Science Center offers an ongoing clinical program to evaluate and, when appropriate, treat impaired swallowing.

About the Patient’s Care

The Swallowing Rehabilitation Program is a multi-disciplinary approach to the evaluation and treatment of swallowing disorders. The dysphagia team includes specialists in otolaryngology, speech pathology, gastroenterology, dentistry, radiology, and nutrition. When needed, other specialists are available for consultation at the Health Science Center.

Swallowing Evaluation

The initial examination includes evaluations by an otolaryngologist, speech pathologist, and radiologist. The physicians assess both the structure and function of the patient’s swallowing ability from the mouth to the stomach. In most cases the evaluation is completed in less than one day and results are made available to the patient on the same day.

Swallowing Therapy

Swallowing therapy may consist of medical or non-medical methods. The method of treatment is based on the results of the patient’s evaluation. The otolaryngologist provides medical treatments (surgery, prescriptions, etc.). Non-medical therapies are provided by the speech pathologist. In some cases, a combination of both treatments is required.

Therapy is available on a daily or weekly basis. Clinical experience has demonstrated that daily treatment sessions lead to faster progress. In many cases improved swallowing is noticed within two to four weeks. Many patients recover sufficient swallowing ability to eliminate their reliance on tube feedings.

Who Will Benefit

Adults and children with difficulty swallowing as a result of:

  • Stroke
  • Trauma
  • Cancer
  • Surgery
  • Developmental/Neurological problems

Benefits to the Patient

  • A comprehensive, one-day evaluation
  • Experienced specialists from many fields are available in on facility
  • In most cases, treatment and begin immediately
  • Treatment programs are intensive and tailored to each patient’s specific
  • Our clinical services are covered by most insurance companies (we do
    request advance confirmation from the insurance carrier)

To schedule an appointment, please Call:

Phone: (352) 273-5871
Fax:  (352) 846-1565