Choose Wisely

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Does your patient need a compensatory strategy or a rehabilitative strategy to help them eat and drink? Wisconsin Swallowing Diagnostics allows your speech pathologist to see the exact strategies that are beneficial to each patient, customizing the swallowing therapy to be the most effective for each individual patient. 

Call today to learn how to use a cost effective, evidence based method to maximize the results of swallowing intervention for your patients. Contact us at 715-544-7605 or Info@WisconsinSwallowingDiagnostics.com

The Detective Work of FEES

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The clarity of the images obtained with FEES is amazing. As endoscopists we are able to see micro aspiration and penetration, color changes in the tissues, and structural abnormalities that may be contributing to swallowing difficulty that would otherwise be missed on a modified barium swallow. The color imagery and the high resolution is so helpful in making recommendations for patients. We provide color photographs in the reports, and we are also able to leave a flash drive containing the full video for future review or for use as an education tool.

Visit our website at www.wisconsinswallowingdiagnostics.com or call 715-544-7605 for more information.

"They Take Their Pills Just Fine"

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FAMOUS LAST WORDS....

“They take their pills just fine.” How many times has a well meaning staff member said this, and then a FEES was done and the pills are sitting above the airway, in the airway, or still in the patient’s throat long after they supposedly “took their pills fine”. 

Aside from the choking hazard, pills are definitely not designed to work effectively when absorbed in the throat or airway. Most medications are meant to be dissolved in the acidic environment of the stomach. The tissue in the throat is more sensitive to chemical exposure and repeated episodes of pills dissolving in it can cause a response similar to a burn. 

The typical response to difficulty swallowing pills is to crush them in applesauce or pudding. While this seems like a simple solution the effectiveness of the medication is altered. Medications are coated so that they dissolve in the gastrointestinal system where they will be best absorbed to do the most good. Crushing them potentially releases the active ingredients at the wrong time and the patient does not get the benefit of the medication. Not all meds are crushable. 

Wisconsin Swallowing Diagnostics can evaluate a patient’s ability to safely take pills. Our visits can be timed to coincide with a med pass or we can simulate pill taking with food items that correspond in size to common medications. 

So the next time you have a patient with swallowing difficulty and a staff member tells you “they take their pills fine”, you might wonder...how do they know? They don’t. Get a FEES and help your patients take pills safely, exactly as prescribed.


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Claims continue to surface going back-and-forth about what is the best way to assess a swallowing problem, MBS versus FEES. Each claims to be “THE” gold standard. This debate is 30 years old and needs to be put to rest. 

There are two gold standard ways to assess a swallowing problem: FEES and MBS. While we think our convenient and cost saving FEES works for most patients it is not for everyone. If your patient is not appropriate for our services we tell you this and don’t waste your time or money. And if we are not able to complete a study there is no charge.

At Wisconsin Swallowing Diagnostics we offer your patients a way for their swallowing difficulty to be assessed in the comfort of their living environment using food they enjoy. Family and medical staff may attend and offer insight into the situation and see the results live. We don’t use radiation or barium.

Wisconsin Swallowing Diagnostics understands that caring for patients is hard work. We strive to be part of the solution to this challenge. Reports are completed and left with you the same day. Invoices are provided to the billing office at the time of service complete with all information required for billing purposes.

We realize there might be times you need to pay more and send your patient to get a swallow study at a hospital to get the information you need. The bottom line has to be what is in the best interest of the patient. 

Did you know that we are trained in MBS too? We prefer FEES first and MBS if needed after. It’s the same way that a physician might order a CT scan and then send a patient for an MRI if needed. You continue diagnostics until you get the information you need to make the best decision. So sometimes it is not one or the other but both.

If you are interested in learning more about which assessment is right for your patient email info@WisconsinSwallowingDiagnostics.com and ask for the FEES vs MBS Comparison Chart. We want you to feel confident in your choice for dysphagia assessment for your patients. 

FEES and MBS are both gold standards for swallowing evaluation. The bottom line is “Don’t Guess, Assess”. Get your patient the diagnostic instrumental they need.


Everyone Gets a Chin Tuck!

Well meaning staff frequently recommend patients use a chin tuck to help their swallowing problem. While a chin tuck can be a useful compensatory strategy did you know that sometimes it actually increases the risk of aspiration? We cannot treat what we cannot see. An instrumental swallowing evaluation is the only way to determine the most appropriate treatment for a patient with dysphagia.

Contact Wisconsin Swallowing Diagnostics to learn how to maximize the effectiveness of your treatment sessions. We help you determine the physiology of a patient’s swallow, and select and validate your treatment approach. Call 715-544-7605 or email info@wiconsinswallowingdiagnostics to learn more about bringing mobile FEES to your location.

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Got Your X-ray Goggles?

One of the most common statements I hear is “we don’t need a swallow study because my speech pathologist can just tell what’s happening with the patient.”  This is outdated thinking. Once instrumentals became available to speech pathologists in the 1980s guessing was no longer needed. Do you want your doctor guessing whether your arm is broken or not or would you rather have them verify it with an x-ray? Would you like your doctor to guess whether you’re anemic or not by looking at your skin color or would you prefer a blood test? If your loved one looks like they might be having a stroke do you want your doctor to guess whether or not this is the case, or do you think they should order a CT scan or MRI?  When we know better we do better. It’s time to do better for our patients.

Research has shown that not using instrumentals results in up to 70% inaccuracy in diet recommendations. This means that either the diet is too liberal and puts a patient at risk of aspiration or choking, or was to constrictive and a patient was on an altered diet, like pureed, or thickened liquids when they did not need it. Recommending the wrong diet for a patient can have a domino effect, from choking, aspiration, refusal to drink with subsequent dehydration, and an increased risk of re-hospitalization to name a few.

At Wisconsin Swallowing Diagnostics we provide the solution to this problem. Your patients and staff can know the exact diet that would provide the most adequate hydration and nutrition. We even provide color photographs in the report to back up the recommendations made.

Do you want your team using techniques from before the 1980s, or would you prefer to fast forward 40 years to use cost effective, evidenced based technology to care for your patients?

Stop looking for your x-ray goggles and call WSD at 715-544-7605 or visit WisconsinSwallowingDiagnostics.com to learn how we can help you provide better patient care at a fraction of the cost of a traditional hospital swallow study.

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Q: Where in the world is WSD?

A: Exactly where you need us. We cover all of Wisconsin, big city, rural town, LTACH, SNF, Home Health, etc. Wherever you are we can provide your patient with mobile swallowing assessment using high tech, evidence based services to maximized your results, all for about a 1/4 the cost of a typical VFSS. Patients are seen in the comfort of their room or home, eating the foods they enjoy, and reports are provided the same day with color pictures included to document the results. Contact Wisconsin Swallowing Diagnostics at 715-544-7605 or email info@wisconsinswallowingdiagnostics.com for more information about how we can help you reduce your cost and improve the quality of the dysphagia services you offer to your patients.