Anyone heard about therapy with VitalStim for swallowing problems?

Posted by patriciagsr @patriciagsr, Jun 21, 2019

I have read wonderful reviews about treatments using VitalStim. Shirley Ryan in Chicago is one of the best and I know JH does it as well and with good reviews.
I asked my ent doctor and they don’t do it in Mayo, and when I asked why they told not good reviews and I haven’t read any bad review so far! At the end they told me to do it if I want but but with no endorsement of amago Clinic. This is an amazing treatment with electricity to help the internal muscles to swallow.

Anybody has had any experience ?

Thanks

Patricia,
When searching for reviews, I first start with the therapeutic name, rather than the brand name of the device. This helps weed out the reviews by the manufacturer, which will likely only post favorable study results and reviews. Thus I searched the term "Transcutaneous neuromuscular electrical stimulation" and found this information.

Transcutaneous neuromuscular electrical stimulation (VitalStim) curative therapy for severe dysphagia: myth or reality? (2007) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17305276 This 2007 study shows promise in mild and moderate cases of dysphagia, but recommends more research.

E-Stim for Dysphagia: Yes or No? https://leader.pubs.asha.org/doi/10.1044/leader.FTR2.17052012.12
"In these articles, both sides on the controversial use of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (e-stim) in dysphagia treatment are put forward based on evidence up to 2011.
– Jennifer Carter of the Carter Swallowing Center, LLC, presents the case supporting the use of e-stim in swallowing treatment. According to Carter, the evidence shows that, when added to traditional treatment, e-stim makes a statistically significant positive difference.
– In contrast, Ianessa A. Humbert of Johns Hopkins University presents the case against e-stim. She posits that the purpose of e-stim for improving swallowing is not clear, studies do not support e-stim’s marketed outcomes, and SLP training is insufficient for its use in most dysphagia treatments."

The effect of transcutaneous neuromuscular electrical stimulation on laryngeal vestibule closure timing in swallowing (2018) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5941686/
Even this more recent study from 2018 points out the need for further research.

I, too, would be interested to hear first-hand experiences of fellow members if anyone has tried this therapy.

REPLY

I am receiving treatments with vitalStim and I am eating a bit better they hook up that thing to my throat then do swallowing exercises also I practice swallowing different things pudding,apple sauce, I highly recommend working with a speech therapist ( swallow) therapist.

REPLY
@luckyhunterjs

I am receiving treatments with vitalStim and I am eating a bit better they hook up that thing to my throat then do swallowing exercises also I practice swallowing different things pudding,apple sauce, I highly recommend working with a speech therapist ( swallow) therapist.

Jump to this post

Thank you luckyhunterjs for you reply. I have a swallowing therapist twice daily and she is the one that has recommended it to me. We live in Peru and we don’t have it here so I would have to travel to the Stafes for my treatment, I am willing to do it if it will help me.
I am in a feeding tube and starting to eat Gerber consistency food. I feel I need some extra therapy and she suggested VitalStim since she has been 2 tines in Ryan Child in Chicago accompanying patients with excellent results. I am willing to give it a try but that means to move fir 1 month to the States and all the cost that is involved.

REPLY
@luckyhunterjs

I am receiving treatments with vitalStim and I am eating a bit better they hook up that thing to my throat then do swallowing exercises also I practice swallowing different things pudding,apple sauce, I highly recommend working with a speech therapist ( swallow) therapist.

Jump to this post

Would you recommend me to give a try ?

REPLY
@luckyhunterjs

I am receiving treatments with vitalStim and I am eating a bit better they hook up that thing to my throat then do swallowing exercises also I practice swallowing different things pudding,apple sauce, I highly recommend working with a speech therapist ( swallow) therapist.

Jump to this post

Can I contact you directly ?

REPLY

Yes you may

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.