Dysphagia Diagnosis and Treatment Available at Mercy in Baltimore

Digestive Health and Liver Disease at Mercy - Baltimore

Dysphagia can be caused by different esophageal disorders. At The Center for Heartburn and Reflux Disease at Mercy, Dr. Patrick Hyatt and Dr. Scott Huber use advanced techniques to diagnose the reason for dysphagia as well as provide advanced treatment options for patients who have trouble swallowing.

About the Condition

Dysphagia, known as a swallowing disorder, causes trouble swallowing or painful swallowing. Achalasia, GERD, esophageal cancer, eosinophilic esophagitis, and esophageal-motility disorders can cause dysphagia. In addition, dysphagia can be caused by nervous system disorders or head and spinal cord injuries. 

Dysphagia is classified into two categories depending on the location in which the trouble swallowing originates:

  • Oropharyngeal dysphagia – begins prior to food reaching the esophagus and often results from neuromuscular disease or obstructions
  • Esophageal dysphagia – originates in the esophagus 
NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

Symptoms of dysphagia include reflux, heartburn, pain while swallowing, the feeling food is stuck in the throat, coughing, or gagging.

Dysphagia can be diagnosed by conducting:

  • Endoscopy
  • Barium swallow study
  • Dynamic swallow study 
NEXT: Treatment Options ›
Treatment Options

Dysphagia treatment options are determined according to the category of dysphagia. Oropharyngeal dysphagia is treated by focusing on the underlying condition that is weakening the nerves and muscles used to swallow. Treatment options for esophageal dysphagia include medication for GERD, surgery to remove tumors, or stretching of the narrow passages.