Integrated Program Provides Access to Motility Specialists for Patients and Referring Physicians

UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Motility and Dysphagia Clinic provides a multidisciplinary, integrated approach to diagnosis and treatment of swallowing disorders. Patients are seen jointly by a gastroenterologist with subspecialty training in motility disorders, an otolaryngologist, and a speech-language pathologist. Diagnostic tests are performed the same day when possible, allowing integrated care in a centralized location and reducing repeat visits.

The physician team provides comprehensive examinations of the larynx, pharynx, and esophagus. The Motility and Dysphagia Clinic offers flexible laryngoscopy, functional endoscopic evaluation of swallowing, modified barium swallow

(videofluoroscopic swallow study), esophagogastroduodenoscopy (upper endoscopy), 24-hour pH monitoring, impedance testing, and high-resolution esophageal manometry.

“Impaired saliva production, tongue movement, nerve or muscle damage, or anatomical abnormalities can alter the ability to swallow solid foods or liquids that require specialized care and diagnosis,” said Co-Director Xinqing (Frank) Fan, M.D., Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine in the Digestive and Liver Diseases Division.

“Depending on the patient’s specific condition, our specialists may prescribe medications, offer surgical intervention, or recommend therapy, including Vital-Stim, therapeutic exercises, modification of eating or swallowing behaviors, or changes to diet to decrease the risk of aspiration pneumonia,” said Dr. Fan.

UT Southwestern’s electronic medical records system helps ensure that referring physicians are kept up-to-date with their patients’ test results and progress, which enhances collaboration with motility program physicians.