Rehabilitation Institute

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Speech, language

The Speech Department includes the following therapies:

  • Fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing
  • Voice program
  • Modified barium swallow studies
  • LOUD training for Parkinson’s disease

Fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES)

FEES is now available at Regions Hospital. This is an instrumental swallowing test which can be performed at the patient’s bedside by a speech-language pathologist. If a patient is demonstrating signs of swallowing difficulty, this test can help determine the best treatment plan.

A thin camera called an endoscope allows the speech-language-pathologist to look in the patient’s throat while he/she is eating/drinking. Various types and consistencies of food and liquid are given to the patient to determine his/her swallowing capabilities and the safest diet and swallowing practices. This test can be performed right in the patient’s room and can be repeated if needed. The test involves no radiation exposure.

Voice program

Regions Hospital offers a voice therapy program for patients who are experiencing difficulty or changes with their voice quality. A speech pathologist with specialized training in the area of voice function provides evaluation and treatment using advanced technology.

Regions Hospital - Rehabilitation Institute - Heather

Those who develop voice injuries:

  • People who frequently use their voice such as teachers, singers and lawyers
  • People who have polyps and cysts
  • People with acid reflux issues
  • People with neurological disorders such as stroke, tumor, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease
  • People who slip into bad habits and patterns that affect the quality of their voice
  • People with breathing issues such as asthma who develop Paradoxical Vocal Fold Movement Disorder

Usually, you’ll see a physician for voice changes and he/she will make a referral. In order to see and assess the vocal folds, a test called videostroboscopy may be completed — the pathologist uses a camera for examination. This does not hurt and takes only a few minutes. The results are recorded and many times an ENT (otolaryngologist) views the exam with the clinician to come up with the best treatment plan. Therapy usually lasts 1–2 months, focusing on improving voice quality.

If you would like more information about the Voice Program or you would like to make an appointment, please call the Regions Hospital Hand and Physical Therapy department at 651-254-2097.

  • Regions Hospital hand & Physical Therapy

  • HealthPartners Specialty Center
    401 Phalen Boulevard
    St. Paul, MN 55101
    Phone: 651-254-3200
    Fax: 952-883-9637