Diagnosis and treatment of functional oropharyngeal dysphagia. Features of interest to the digestive surgeon

Pere Clavé, Viridiana Arreola, Mercedes Velasco, Miquel Quer, Josep Maria Castellví, Jordi Almirall, Pilar García Peris, Ricardo Carrau

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Digestive surgeons should form part of the multidisciplinary team managing patients with oropharyngeal dysphagia. These patients can be diagnosed through clinical methods and complementary investigations such as videofluoroscopy and pharyngoesophageal manometry. These techniques also allow specific treatment to be selected. Up to one-third of patients with dysphagia suffer from malnutrition as a result of alterations in food bolus transport. Furthermore, up to two-thirds show alterations in swallowing safety (penetrations and aspirations, especially when swallowing liquids), as well as a high risk of respiratory infections and aspiration pneumonia. Increasing food bolus viscosity to 3500-4000 mPas (pudding viscosity) improves the effectiveness of swallowing and reduces the risk of aspirations. Botulinic toxin injection in the upper esophageal sphincter is indicated in patients with spasticity of neuromuscular origin. Cricopharyngeal myotomy is the basis of treatment for Zenker's diverticulum and is also indicated in patients with alterations in the upper esophageal sphincter and preserved oropharyngeal motor response.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-76
JournalCirugia Espanola
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2007


  • Cricopharyngeal myotomy
  • Oropharyngeal swallow response
  • Pharyngeoesophageal manometry
  • Silent aspiration
  • Upper esophageal sphincter
  • Videofluroscopy


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