What is FEES?
- Susan Langmore, Ph.D., and her research team coined the term FEES in 1986 and published the first data demonstrating the effectiveness of the procedure in 1988.
A thin, flexible instrument is inserted through your nose to help your Speech-Language Pathologist view parts of your throat as you swallow.
The FEES test has two basic parts. During the first, your SLP will view and record the structure of the pharynx and larynx. Then your SLP will introduce food to assess your swallowing. Food coloring will be used to dye food and liquids so they may be viewed better on the screen. You may be asked to try different positions or types of foods during the evaluation.
Is Imaging Necessary?
A Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) cannot effectively treat what they cannot see.
Per the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, an instrumental swallow study (imaging) is necessary to complete any of the following:
Assess the physiology of the structures involved in swallowing to determine a diagnosis of dysphagia
Determine presence, cause, and severity of dysphagia
Visualize the presence, location, amount, and response to secretions in the hypopharynx and larynx
Determine the cause(s) for laryngeal penetration and/or aspiration
Determine with specificity the relative safety and efficiency of various bolus consistencies and volumes.
Benefits of FEES vs. MBSS
Can be performed in nearly any environment
No need to coordinate with radiology
No radiation exposure
Easily performed on patients who are obese or medically fragile, unlike MBSS
Can be performed on patients with mechanical ventilation, even in their room
No need for barium. Patients eat regular food.
One fixed cost. No hidden fees/charges.