Tracheostomy and Dysphagia: True, True, and Unrelated? The relationship between tracheostomy and dysphagia remains controversial. Many centers require swallow evaluations for all patients after tracheostomy because of the assumed increased rate of dysphagia and aspiration that they are thought to promote. Tracheostomies are now most commonly placed in the intensive care setting in adult patients with polytrauma ... Article
Article  |   June 2014
Tracheostomy and Dysphagia: True, True, and Unrelated?
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • David Francis
    Department of Otolaryngology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
  • Alexander Gelbard
    Department of Otolaryngology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
  • David Francis

    Financial Disclosure: David Francis is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology and the Center for Surgical Quality and Outcome Research at Vanderbilt University. He received funding through the National Institute for Deafness and Communication Disorders (NIDCD), which is a part of the National Institute of Health (NIH). Alexander Gelbard is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology at Vanderbilt University. He is also Co-director of the Vanderbilt Center for Aerodigestive Health at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

    Nonfinancial Disclosure: David Francis has previously published in the subject area. Alexander Gelbard has previously published in the subject area.

  • © 2014 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Article
Article   |   June 2014
Tracheostomy and Dysphagia: True, True, and Unrelated?
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), June 2014, Vol. 23, 116-122. doi:10.1044/sasd23.3.116
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), June 2014, Vol. 23, 116-122. doi:10.1044/sasd23.3.116

The relationship between tracheostomy and dysphagia remains controversial. Many centers require swallow evaluations for all patients after tracheostomy because of the assumed increased rate of dysphagia and aspiration that they are thought to promote. Tracheostomies are now most commonly placed in the intensive care setting in adult patients with polytrauma or severe medical illness who are on mechanical ventilation. While tracheostomy and dysphagia often coexist in this population, they may not be directly related, as physiologic alterations observed in tracheostomized patients have not demonstrably translated into clinically significant complications of dysphagia. Instead, there is growing evidence that chronicity and severity of underlying illness, comorbidities, and recent intubation are the major arbiters of dysphagia in patient population. This brief report reviews the literature investigating the association between tracheostomy and dysphagia in adults, and discusses the role that illness severity, comorbidity, and intubation play in dysphagia etiology and how they confound the tracheostomy-dysphagia relationship.

Become a SIG Affiliate
Pay Per View
Entire SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia) content & archive
24-hour access
This Issue
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access
We've Changed Our Publication Model...
The 19 individual SIG Perspectives publications have been relaunched as the new, all-in-one Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups.