Speaking Valves and Swallowing Do tracheostomy tubes cause dysphagia? Estimates of the number of individuals with tracheostomy and concomitant oropharyngeal dysphagia have been reported to be as high as 87% (Pannuzio, 1996). Whether there is a direct causal relationship between tracheostomy and dysphagia remains unclear, however, because results in the literature are equivocal. ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2005
Speaking Valves and Swallowing
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Debra M. Suiter
    The University of Memphis, Memphis, TN
  • She may be reached at dsuiter@memphis.edu.
  • Debra M. Suiter is an assistant professor at the University of Memphis in Memphis, TN where she teaches courses in dysphagia, motor speech disorders in children, and neurogenic speech-language disorders. Her research interests include dysphagia diagnosis and treatment, neurogenic speech disorders, and tracheostomy and ventilator dependence. Her national presentations and peer-reviewed publications have been in the areas of dysphagia diagnosis and treatment and issues related to tracheostomy.
    Debra M. Suiter is an assistant professor at the University of Memphis in Memphis, TN where she teaches courses in dysphagia, motor speech disorders in children, and neurogenic speech-language disorders. Her research interests include dysphagia diagnosis and treatment, neurogenic speech disorders, and tracheostomy and ventilator dependence. Her national presentations and peer-reviewed publications have been in the areas of dysphagia diagnosis and treatment and issues related to tracheostomy.×
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Articles
Article   |   December 01, 2005
Speaking Valves and Swallowing
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), December 2005, Vol. 14, 14-18. doi:10.1044/sasd14.4.14
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), December 2005, Vol. 14, 14-18. doi:10.1044/sasd14.4.14
Do tracheostomy tubes cause dysphagia? Estimates of the number of individuals with tracheostomy and concomitant oropharyngeal dysphagia have been reported to be as high as 87% (Pannuzio, 1996). Whether there is a direct causal relationship between tracheostomy and dysphagia remains unclear, however, because results in the literature are equivocal. For further discussion of this topic, please see Bailey, this issue. In addition, many patients with tracheostomies have other medical factors, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, that could predispose them to difficulty swallowing.
Regardless of whether tracheostomy tubes adversely affect swallowing, the fact remains that many individuals with tracheostomy tubes do aspirate. A number of options, including cuff deflation, tracheostomy tube occlusion, and oneway speaking valve placement, have been introduced to reduce or eliminate the risk of aspiration in this patient population.
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