Patients with head and neck cancer can experience a series of acute and chronic sequelae. Dysphagia can be the most life-changing and challenging symptom to rehabilitate. Management of dysphagia for this population often consists of compensatory strategies, diet modification, and exercises. When the dysphagia is severe, resulting in recurrent aspiration pneumonia and risk for feeding tube placement, and at times a trach, the quality of life is forever changed.  

This webinar will provide an overview of the impact of medical treatment on the swallowing function, traditional management of dysphagia as well as non-traditional or novel aspects to consider. Included will be a special discussion on the safety and efficacy for esophageal dilatation in this population. 

This webinar is approximately 60 minutes in length with Q&A. This webinar was presented live on 4/28/21. If you would like a copy of the recording along with references and resources, please contact us here!

Presenter Bio: Dr. Brenda Capobres Villegas is a medical speech-language pathologist and clinical faculty with the USC Caruso Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Villegas began her professional career working at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center before moving to the University of Southern California in 1996. Dr. Villegas specializes in working with patients who have head and neck cancer for more than 15 years. Her areas of clinical and research interest include dysphagia, post-laryngectomy communication and swallowing, and understanding the psychosocial needs of patients with head and neck cancer and their caregivers. In addition to her clinical practice, Dr. Villegas is the founder and coordinator for three head and neck cancer support groups.

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