Heather L. Robinson, MA, CCC-SLP

Heather Robinson, MA, CCC-SLP Speech-Language Pathologist

Question: After my stroke, my daughter researched treatments for swallowing problems on the internet, and learned about VitalStim swallowing therapy. The website reported that small electrical currents are delivered through electrodes placed on the front of the neck, to help strengthen the muscles of swallowing. Who can provide this therapy? Is it safe? Does it hurt? And how long does it take to get better?

Answer: Your daughter may have visited www.vitalstimtherapy.com, to learn about the only Food & Drug Administration (FDA) cleared treatment for dysphagia (dis-FAY-juh) or swallowing disorders. This therapy can be provided by a VitalStim certified speech pathologist who has received advanced training in its use. The treatment itself is safe, non-invasive and painless. Depending upon the underlying cause of the swallowing difficulty, most patients note improvements in their swallowing in 6-15 sessions (each of which is about one hour). For more information, call Heather at STARS at 367-8593.