Radiation-Related Swallowing Difficulties

Janis Deane, M.Ed., CCC-SLP, working with a laryngectomy patient.

If you have received radiation therapy that targets the head and neck, you may experience tissue changes, which may cause difficulty swallowing solids or liquids.

There are behavioral interventions and therapeutic exercises you can do to aid in swallowing.


Radiation-related swallowing difficulties may be treated with:

  • Speech therapy to teach therapeutic exercises and to determine appropriate swallowing strategies
  • Modifying your diet
  • VitalStim therapy, a non-invasive, painless treatment that uses electrical stimulation to strengthen the muscles involved in swallowing

Request an Appointment

If you experience difficulty swallowing, we can help. To schedule an appointment with one of our laryngologists, or for more information about our services, call 214-645-8300.