Difficulties with swallowing can affect people of all ages.
Swallowing difficulties (dysphagia) can range from mildly annoying to life threatening emergencies. Often the assessment will involve a slim camera being passed through the nose into the throat to assess the area and then more specialised swallow tests such as video swallow assessments (VFSS), functional endoscopic assessments (FEES) and pressure testing (manometry) which are usually performed in office with a speech pathologist present.
Dr Athanasiadis formed the Adelaide Swallow Analysis Clinic and works closely with speech pathologists who specialise solely on swallowing dysfunction as well as gastroenterologists who have an interest in motility disorders. Treatment is tailored to the individual patient and if a procedure is required this may be able to be performed in office or in the operating theatre under some mild sedation. Almost all treatment options when required are endoscopic in nature preventing the need for larger external operations. Dr Athanasiadis has an active research interest in swallowing difficulties with a number of university research grants in the area aimed at improving our understanding of this complex mechanism and translating this into clinic care.