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What is VitalStim Therapy?

VitalStim Handheld Device with Custom Electrodes

VitalStim® Therapy is a safe and effective treatment for patients suffering with difficulty swallowing or dysphagia.

The VitalStim® Therapy System is a non-invasive therapy to help swallowing through the use of Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES). Electrical stimulation is used to aid muscle strengthening and muscle recruitment to rehabilitate the swallow.

The VitalStim® Therapy System is designed as an adjunct modality, meaning a clinician will apply VitalStim while simultaneously working with the patient on swallowing exercise. Used as an adjunct to traditional swallowing therapy, VitalStim has been found to:

  • Be safe and effective for patients 1
  • Accelerate the recovery time from a restricted diet 2
  • Help patients achieve sustained improvement and long term results 3
  • Help patients for whom previous attempts at dysphagia therapy had failed4
  • Help patients become tube independant5

Read more about the VitalStim® Therapy System and dysphagia:

Download an informational brochure for patients with questions and answers about treating dysphagia with electrical stimulation.

Click here to to download the "When you can't swallow brochure"

Read a summary of the latest research to date about NMES and dysphagia

Click here to read more about the latest research

  1. Carnaby-Mann GD, and Crary MA. Examining the evidence on neuromuscular electrical stimulation for swallowing: a meta-analysis. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 133: 564-571, 2007.
  2. Blumenfeld L, Hahn Y, Lepage A, Leonard R, and Belafsky PC. Transcutaneous electrical stimulation versus traditional dysphagia therapy: a nonconcurrent cohort study. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 135: 754-757, 2006.
  3. Freed ML. Clinical trial data in support of VitalStim 510(k) clearance application with FDA. 2001.
  4. Carnaby-Mann GD, and Crary MA. Adjunctive neuromuscular electrical stimulation for treatment-refractory dysphagia. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 117: 279-287, 2008.
  5. Kusher DS, Petere K, Eroglu ST, Periess-CarrollM, Johnson-Greene D. Neuromuscular electrical stimulatin efficacy in acute stroke feeding tube-dependent dysphagia during inpatient rehabilitation. Am J Phys Med Rahabil. 2013 Jun;92(6):486-95.