Dysphagia

Availability

North South North West Statewide

Pre-referral work-up

History

All referrals should comply to referral standards and include in particular:

  • Duration of symptoms
  • Pattern and severity of symptoms
  • Previous surgery or chemo or radiotherapy especially to the mediastinum
  • Details of any previous endoscopies (date, result)
  • Current and recently ceased medications especially failed treatments
  • Weight loss and appetite
  • Medications especially anticoagulants and reason for prescription, iron, NSAIDs, steroids and hypoglycaemic agents.
  • History of cardiovascular disease, renal disease, liver disease, diabetes

Tests

Initial work up:

  • FBE, Iron Studies and ESR

Consider:

  • Barium swallow

Interim/GP management

To refer a patient with this condition, please see the Gastroenterology clinic page for the full referral process and templates.

For more information please see the Tasmanian Health Pathways website.

Emergency

Complete inability to swallow and manage oral secretions

Urgent / category 1

Recent onset dysphagia Progressive dysphagia


Associated with weight loss

Semi-urgent / category 2

Long-standing, non-progressive dysphagia

Red flags are clinical indicators of possible serious underlying conditions requiring further medical intervention. They may or may not indicate an emergency.

Emergency:

Proceed to Emergency Department (ED). Please contact ED Medical Officer in Charge:
LGH ED – Phone: (03) 6777 6405  Fax: (03) 6348 7382
MCH ED – Phone: (03) 6478 5120  Fax: (03) 6441 5923
NWRH ED – Phone: (03) 6493 6340  Fax: (03) 6464 1926
RHH ED - Phone: (03) 6166 6100  Fax: (03) 6173 0489

Urgent:

We will endeavour to see these patients within four weeks

Urgent referrals should be accompanied by a phone call to the clinic and the relevant doctor for urgent assessment, or patient should be directed immediately to the Emergency Department.

Semi-urgent:

We will endeavour to see these patients within 12 weeks

Routine:

Next available appointment