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Table 2 Alterations that may be encountered in the pharyngeal stage of swallowing

From: Swallowing disorders in tracheostomised patients: a multidisciplinary/multiprofessional approach in decannulation protocols

Alteration Consequence
Soft palate failing to close Bolus leaking out of the nasal tracts
Asymmetrical pharyngeal contraction If the damage is bilateral the bolus will not progress on both sides and there will be pooled food
Reduced laryngeal range Pooled food around the laryngeal opening and post-swallowing aspiration
Incomplete laryngeal closure Aspiration and bolus pooling
Reduced laryngeal raising range Bolus pooling and aspiration
Upper oesophageal sphincter dysfunction Bolus blocking and possible returning into the respiratory tract