Before deciding on treatments, we must find the cause! And the clinical examination by the doctor is rarely enough. Endoscopy is the key examination. Performed under mild general anesthesia, it allows the doctor to directly observe the anatomical areas using an optical tube with a camera. In addition to this investigation the doctor may sometimes prescribe other imaging tests, such as oeso-gastroduodenal transit (TOGD), a radio with ingestion of an opaque radio product.
Once the cause is found, treatments can be considered.
For gastro-oesophageal reflux, management is first medical with the prescription of antacids, healing drugs ... In a second step, surgery may be considered if these treatments prove to be insufficient.
In the case of oesophageal cancer, surgery is used, which is usually combined with chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
In case of neuromuscular pathology, orthophonic reeducation to swallowing may be proposed, in order to re-teach the patient to gradually recover swallowing capabilities. This speech therapy can be combined with the support of a dietician, an occupational therapist and a physiotherapist.
If the symptoms persist despite the treatments, dietary advice may be adopted, such as the use of gelling agents.
When these treatments are insufficient, and when the cause of dysphagia requires it, the question of surgery should be asked: gastrostomy when oral feeding is no longer possible, resection of a diverticulum, etc. The doctor will be best able to decide the best treatments!