Tracheostomy and Intubation-Related Dysphagia
Endotracheal intubation and tracheostomy are common artificial airway procedures done for ventilation and tracheobronchial toileting. They are most commonly seen in the intensive care setting and patients with head and neck cancers. From a functional point of view, the artificial airway appliances disrupt the normal coordinated physiology of swallowing in many ways. Patients who have recently been extubated or decannulated can have dysphagia for a variable amount of time. Several patient factors like concomitant neurological disorders and preexisting swallowing difficulties contribute to the development of dysphagia. However, in the present literature, there is a lack of consensus with regard to the incidence of airway appliance dysphagia and magnitude of the problem. Treatment guidelines are emerging, and patients may benefit from an individual case-by-case approach.