Swallowing Difficulties with Tracheostomy: A Neuro-Rehabilitation Perspective
Swallowing and breathing are complex and highly coordinated functions. These functions depend on well-coordinated work of many organs with larynx and nervous system playing a critical role. Disturbance in one of these functions negatively affects the other. Surgical airways like tracheostomies are required in a number of situations, including but not limited to major head and neck procedures, cases with decreased lung function, excessive bronchial secretions and cases requiring neuro-rehabilitation when prolonged airway is required for mechanical ventilation. Extensive neuro-rehabilitation is required since patients with surgical airway may develop swallowing difficulties including dysphagia and/or aspiration with a very high prevalence, which can pose a threat to life. This article reviews the current status of the diagnostic and therapeutic modalities for swallowing difficulties with special emphasis on current neuro-rehabilitative strategies. Electronic databases including Medline, Web-of-science, Cochrane Library, and Google scholar were used for literature search. Downloaded articles were subsequently assessed independently by two researchers to determine suitability for inclusion in the study.
Key words: Neurorehabilitation, Tracheostomy, Transcranial direct current stimulation, Transcranial magnetic stimulation, swallowing difficulty
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