What is the role of enteral feeding 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

In some patients, enteral feeding may be necessary in order to bypass the oral cavity and pharynx. In general, enteral feeding is indicated in any patient who is unable to achieve adequate alimentation and hydration by mouth. Patients with an impaired level of consciousness, massive aspiration, silent aspiration, esophageal obstruction, or recurrent respiratory infections fall into this category.

There has been some controversy regarding the most appropriate mode and method of administering enteral feeding (eg, continuous or intermittent, intestinal or gastric). Esophagostomy is needed in patients in whom other placements may not be possible and can help in the control of pharyngeal secretions.


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