LewisGale offers the most advanced therapies available for those with dysphasia, which means difficulty or discomfort in swallowing.
Swallowing difficulties may result from stroke, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, mouth or throat cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS), laryngectomy (removal of the larynx) and several other degenerative and muscular conditions. Dysphagia is a growing medical problem, with an estimated 15 million people in the United States currently having this diagnosis. Nearly 75 percent of stroke survivors develop some form of dysphagia.
Traditional treatments for dysphasia have included speech therapy, patient education, swallowing exercises and diet modifications. Modified barium swallow studies (MBS) are used as tools to evaluate the swallowing mechanism. The disorder is often managed through the use of a feeding tube to provide adequate patient nutrition.
First in Virginia with VitalStim®
LewisGale was the first medical center in Virginia to offer dysphasia patients an innovative treatment called VitalStim Swallowing Therapy. This has resulted in dramatic improvements in lifestyle and significant cost savings compared to traditional dysphasia treatments for many patients.
VitalStim is a non-invasive, painless treatment that uses small electrical currents to stimulate the muscles responsible for swallowing. VitalStim Therapy is FDA-approved and, in conjunction with other methods of swallowing therapy, "re-educates" the swallowing muscles.
Our trained therapists provide one-on-one VitalStim therapy and develop individualized, patient-specific treatment plans. We also provide training and education to patients and family members.
If you or a loved one has difficulty swallowing and would like to learn more about swallowing therapy or VitalStim therapy, call LewisGale Rehabilitation Services at:
- LewisGale Medical Center: (540) 529-5681
- LewisGale Hospital Alleghany: (540) 862-6265
- LewisGale Hospital Montgomery: (540) 961-4585
- LewisGale Hospital Pulaski: (540) 994-8325
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