Joy McCann Culverhouse Center for Swallowing Disorders

Swallowing Services

Swallowing is a basic human function that we may often take for granted. However, millions of people suffer from swallowing problems. The medical term for difficulty swallowing is dysphagia (“dis-fay-ja”). The USF Center for Swallowing Disorders offers very comprehensive swallowing testing to determine the underlying reason for your swallowing problem and help to improve the condition. We are multidisciplinary, collaborative and patient-centered. Our goal is to put you first.

How are we different?

Our speech pathologists are specially trained in swallowing and hold extra certifications. We combine state of the art technology, innovative research and an interdisciplinary team model. Your evidence based care plan is individualized to meet your needs.

Your evaluation may include:

  • A clinical examination including cranial nerve assessment
  • A modified barium swallow study (MBS)
  • Flexible endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES)
  • Cough spirometry testing

Conditions we commonly treat:

  • Head and neck cancer swallow rehabilitation
  • Neurodegenerative disease
    • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
    • Multiple Sclerosis
    • Myasthenia Gravis
    • Parkinson’s disease (PD)
  • Stroke/Traumatic brain injury
  • Multiphase dysphagia
  • Functional dysphagia
  • Aerophagia 
  • Post-surgical swallowing problems

Therapy we provide:

  • Comprehensive education regarding your swallowing diagnosis
  • Swallow strengthening exercise
  • Biofeedback treatment with surface electromyography (sEMG)
  • Respiratory training for improved swallow function – Expiratory muscle strength training (EMST)
  • Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES)
  • Lingual strengthening with biofeedback using a portable device. This is available for checkout based on patient need.