FEES Testing

Understand if FEES testing is right for you.

Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing

A fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) is a procedure that assesses how well a person can swallow. During the assessment, a speech-language pathologist will pass a thin, flexible tube – a laryngoscope – through the patient’s nose to view the throat when swallowing. This entire process is recorded in motion pictures and will be digitally saved.

When Should FEES Be Performed?

The most common indicator a FEES test should be performed is if you have trouble swallowing (dysphagia). Dysphagia is when there is a problem with the muscular coordination needed for swallowing. This can result in food or fluid going into the airway instead of down the throat.

FEES is also recommended for individuals who have a condition that puts them at a high risk of dysphagia. Other conditions that may cause dysphagia include:

Doctor giving a patient a Flexible Endoscopic evaluation of swallowing

What to Expect During a FEES Test

A fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing typically takes around 20 minutes and is performed while you are awake.

  1. An anesthetic will be sprayed in your nose so you do not feel the endoscope.
  2. An endoscope will be inserted through your nose and down into your throat.
  3. Using a video screen, we will be able to tell how well you are swallowing and if you are aspirating, as well as a number of other factors.
  4. The speech-language pathologist will most likely have you eat a small amount of food or liquid with dye so it can be seen on the screen.

Properly identifying dysphagia is necessary for the correct treatment options. The speech-language pathologists at Albuquerque Speech Language Hearing Center are trained in FEES testing and can help patients of all ages.

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