A Comprehensive Approach to Improving Swallowing and Quality of Life
Click here to watch short videos about dysphagia and the swallow study performed at Broward Health Imperial Point.
What is Dysphagia?
Dysphagia is the term used to describe "difficulty swallowing." We take eating and drinking for granted until we or someone we know has difficulty. Eating and drinking are uniquely tied to socialization with others and often are combined with a deep cultural and symbolic association. The inability to swallow normally can have a devastating impact on quality of life.
How many people have Dysphagia?
One out of 17 people have difficulty swallowing with an estimated 10 million Americans suffering from this disorder.
Two-thirds of oral and throat cancer survivors will also have dysphagia. If dysphagia is not treated it can lead to some very serious healthcare consequences.
The good news is that with highly specialized and targeted therapeutic interventions this does not have to be a permanent condition.
The Dysphagia Program at Broward Health Imperial Point
Our program is uniquely designed to incorporate state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment with integrative healing. Our holistic approach combines the best of western and eastern medicine through an interdisciplinary team dedicated to restoring swallow function.
Treatments include, but are not limited to, electrical stimulation, myofascial release, soft tissue manipulation, manual therapy, electrotherapeutic point stimulation, range of motion and stretching exercises.
We are constantly expanding our therapeutic options to include additional techniques such as acupuncture, auricular therapy and craniosacral therapy.
If you or someone you know has dysphagia, contact your physician and ask for a video swallow function test. This diagnostic test utilizes a moving x-ray to view inside your throat while you are eating and drinking. This exam only takes a few minutes and allows us to determine the exact cause of your problem with swallowing. This test will also establish if you are a candidate for our dysphagia program.
For more information, contact:
Teresa Biber, M.S. CCC-SLP
Broward Health Imperial Point
6401 N. Federal Highway
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33308
Teresa Biber, M.S.CCC-SLP, has been working with swallowing disorders as well as the head and neck cancer population since 1996. She is known nationally as an innovator in dysphagia treatment. Ms. Biber developed a unique protocol that uses electrical stimulation to restore swallow function. Her success with patients who have completed radiation therapy for head and neck cancer has been enhanced by incorporating specific manipulation techniques and therapeutic exercise regimes commonly utilized by Physical Therapy.
"The Physical Therapists here have enlightened me to a whole new way of looking at my patients. I come to work excited every day, thinking about all the resources I have to effectively treat this debilitating disorder." One of her partners in the program development is Johna Crull, PT, OCS, MTC, ATC who was the lead physical therapist at MD Anderson Cancer Center.
"Having Johna here has made a huge difference. It is my firm belief that without the unique combination of speech pathology and skilled physical therapy, in an integrated holistic approach, our patients could never achieve such overwhelmingly positive outcomes."
Ms. Biber is a member of the Dysphagia Research Society as well as many other professional societies. She currently serves as a consultant on a large, multi-center, randomized clinical trial funded by the National Cancer Institute that is specially designed to investigate her protocol with the head and neck cancer population.