Phoniatrics and Speech Therapy Services

Voice and swallowing disorder services

Phoniatrics and Speech Therapy Services runs an outpatient clinic for patients suffering from voice (spoken or sung), swallowing,  speech and language articulation  disorders that can develop in children, adults and the elderly following post-acute, degenerative or senile neurological diseases.

A therapeutic path begins with a phoniatric examination in which the patient's medical history is acquired and a physical examination and endoscopic instrumental examination take place. Using fibrolaringostroboscopy and a fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES), voice and swallowing functions are examined. During the examination, further instrumental tests may be prescribed such as electromyography of the masticatory muscles and neck, audio-impedance test or the study of tubal function. A therapy is then prescribed using a multidisciplinary approach which may determined the need for additional appointments with other professionals.

The main pathologies treated are:

  • dysphonies (alterations of the voice in surgical outcomes, in functional muscle tension alterations or in the presence of organic alterations of the larynx)
  • dysphagia (swallowing disorder after surgery, stroke and neurological diseases such as Parkinson's disease, ALS and Multiple Sclerosis)
  • dysarthria (alteration of the articulation of language)
  • aphasia (speech and written language disorder)
  • orofacial muscle imbalance in association with dental work, secondary to obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, temporomandibular joint disorders, muscle-tension disorders or associated with dysfunction of the Eustachian tube
  • facial paralysis and facial pain

Speech therapy is organized in cycles of 10 weekly sessions.

At the end of the rehabilitation process, patients undergo a new phoniatric re-evaluation.

Phoniatrics and Speech Therapy Services is part of the Otolaryngology Unit, directed by Prof. Fabrizio Salvinelli and coordinated by Dr. Vitaliana Luccarelli, who is responsible for phoniatric evaluations. The speech therapists are Dr. Valentina Deidda and Dr. Chiara Grattarola.

Specialist visits, instrumental examinations and speech therapy rehabilitation are provided under the NHS, ‘Tariff Amica' special rate and private patient regimes.