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Procedure - VitalStim® NMES Swallow Therapy

Do you have trouble swallowing? Has it interfered with your ability to eat and drink properly? Many people suffer from swallowing disorders, or dysphagia, and at Ogden Clinic in Utah, our specialists can treat this condition with VitalStim® NMES (neuromuscular electrical stimulation). VitalStim® NMES is a dual therapy which combines traditional swallowing exercises with electrical stimulation to improve the function of throat muscles and restore the ability to swallow properly.

Most people qualify as candidates for VitalStim® NMES if they experience decreased voice quality, trouble finishing a meal, swallowing problems, drool, spilling food or drink from lips, and reoccurring chest infections.

How It Works

VitalStim® NMES works to improve swallowing by strengthening the throat muscles. Treatment sessions are generally given 3 to 5 days per week and last for 30 to 60 minutes each. Patients will undergo treatment for at least a few weeks, sometimes longer, depending on the severity of their symptoms.

To begin each session, your dysphagia specialist will clean your throat with an alcohol swab, and in some cases, massage and moist heat will be applied to increase the effectiveness of the treatment. Electrodes are then attached to your neck and the VitalStim® NMES device is turned on. The device provides stimulation to targeted neck muscles, while the specialist coaches you through various swallowing exercises, including “swallowing hard” and “swallowing fast.” Each exercise will be accompanied by food or drink, deemed appropriate by your doctor.

Benefits of VitalStim® NMES

The VitalStim® NMES therapy system is completely safe and effective—it’s used to treat dysphagia by:

  • Reducing the amount of time on a restricted diet.
  • Aiding patients who did not find success with previous dysphagia treatments and therapy.
  • Providing long-term results and a positive change in lifestyle.
  • Helping patients become tube independent.

Swallowing disorders can interfere with a patient’s ability to get proper nutrition. If you are having difficulty swallowing due to an underlying medical condition, come to Ogden Clinic in Utah to learn more about VitalStim® NMES (neuromuscular electrical stimulation). Call us today to schedule an appointment.