Our expert

Michel Guatterie

michel-guatterieIn 1989, Michel Guatterie, an expert in swallowing difficulties, founded the Swallowing Rehabilitation Unit in the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Ward at the Pellegrin site of the University Hospital Centre in Bordeaux. The author of numerous publications on this subject, he developed a test to assess patients' functional swallowing ability (Swallowing Ability Function Test (TCFD)).

In what way is your test useful?

The test that I have developed is not designed to find out the cause of dysphagia but to find the best palliative solution to reduce or even stop liquids going down the wrong way and to ensure patients can continue to enjoy gustatory pleasure through the consumption of drinks with a modified texture. Depending on test results, it may be possible to continue hydration by mouth.

How can I prevent liquids going down the wrong way?

For mild cases of dysphagia, the solution is to prevent liquids going down the wrong way by stimulating the swallowing reflex with bubbles, cold temperatures and different flavours, by using flavoured, sparkling or cold water, etc. If that is not enough, thickening liquids with thickening or gelling powders is more effective for hydration using thickened liquids, veloutés or nectars that are tasty and full of flavour. In the event that liquids persistently go down the wrong way, stopping consumption of all liquids by mouth will lead to enteral, parenteral or subcutaneous hydration. There are also treatment options, either in the form of rehabilitation to make the swallowing muscles work, medication or surgery.
See his publications