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VitalStim Therapy

VitalStim stimulates the swallowing muscles so patients can improve motor control and relearn to swallow.

An estimated 15 million Americans are afflicted with dysphagia, a condition that causes discomfort or difficulty swallowing. At its most severe, this disorder can take away the ability to eat and profoundly disrupt life. Dysphagia is particularly common after a stroke or a traumatic brain injury, but it is also common in various neurological disorders, head and neck cancer and in the aging population.

Brooks is now offering a new treatment option, Vital Stimulation Therapy. VitalStim is the only estim therapy backed by compelling clinical data and cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is a method to promote swallowing through the application of neuromuscular electrical stimulation to the swallowing muscles. The electricity stimulates inactive or atrophied swallowing muscles, with the goal of strengthening and reeducating the muscles and improving motor control of the swallowing mechanism.

The FDA reviewed over 800 patients who received VitalStim Therapy and deemed the VitalStim unit to be safe and efficacious in the treatment of dysphagia. VitalStim, used in conjunction with conventional dysphagia therapy, has had great success rates. Brooks is currently engaged in an ongoing study to evaluate the clinical effectiveness of this therapy.

VitalStim Therapy is appropriate for patients with diagnoses including:

  • CVA (Stroke)
  • TIA
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Head, Neck and Lung Cancer
  • History of intubation
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • History of pneumonia
  • Asphyxia
  • Diabetes
  • Debilitation
  • Some neurogenerative disorders such as Parkinson's Disease

In clinical and real-world settings, VitalStim Therapy has proven to be safe and effective, successfully treating patients of every age and etiology.