The VitalStim® Therapy System is an adjunctive modality to traditional exercise that unites the power of electrical stimulation with the benefits of swallowing exercises. Combining VitalStim and traditional therapy allows clinicians to accelerate strengthening, restore functionality, and help the brain remap the swallow. Research supports the combination of these therapies to improve treatment outcomes.
There are currently numerous positive studies and a meta-analysis in print that corroborate the positive findings reported in the field. The findings include the following:
1. The use of electrical stimulation seems to contribute significantly to the improvement in swallow function.
2. Neuromuscular Electrical Simulation (NMES) in conjunction with swallowing exercise seems to be more effective than traditional treatment techniques alone.
3. The use of NMES tends to decrease inpatient length of stay as a result of improved swallow function.
4. Mild (limited oral intake) to moderate (PEG fed with minimal oral intake) dysphagia patients benefit the most with over 80% discontinuing Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy (PEG).