Swallowing Difficulty and Pain


Students will review anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology of the swallowing mechanism. It is assumed that the students will have this knowledge and apply it to the clinical situation.

Knowledge Objectives

Through their reading and patient care experiences, at the end of the rotation students should be able to:

Define dysphagia and odynophagia.
Describe the differential diagnosis for a patient with dysphagia / odynophagia.
Motility Disorder
neurologic disorders
motor disorders
Extrinsic obstruction / compression
Intrinsic obstruction
foreign body
Compare and contrast the history, presentation, physical findings, and laboratory findings for these different conditions.
Discuss the diagnostic modalities available, how they are used, and how they relate to the normal swallowing mechanism.
Describe the options for management of these conditions.
Discuss indications for operative vs. non-operative management when appropriate.
For those problems where operative intervention is appropriate, discuss the procedures available and discuss their pros and cons.
List factors for esophageal carcinoma.
Discuss screening and surveillance for patients who are at risk for carcinoma.