What is the role of supraglottic swallow in the treatment of dysphagia?

Updated: Mar 20, 2020
  • Author: Nam-Jong Paik, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Elizabeth A Moberg-Wolff, MD  more...
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Answer

The supraglottic swallow, a technique that most patients can master, involves simultaneous swallowing and breath-holding, closing the vocal cords and protecting the trachea from aspiration. The patient thereafter can cough to expel any residue in the laryngeal vestibule. This technique can be useful for patients who have reduced laryngeal closure. Advise the patient to practice the following steps [61] :

  • Take a deep breath and hold your breath

  • Keep holding your breath and lightly cover your tracheostomy tube, if applicable

  • Keep holding your breath while you swallow

  • Cough immediately after the swallow


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