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Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES)

The FEES is a special test that allows your doctor and your Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) to find out why you are having trouble swallowing.  A thin, flexible tube called a scope is put through your nose to look at your throat as you swallow.  The test will help your doctor, your speech pathologist, and you determine what types of food and liquids are safest for you to swallow.  Your speech pathologist will use the test to find ways to help you swallow more easily and safely.

How is the test done?

The test may be done in a treatment room or in your hospital room.  You may eat and drink prior to the test. Before you have the test, your speech pathologist will ask you some questions and check the strength of your lips, tongue and jaw.  The speech pathologist will place a scope through your nose down to your throat.  You may feel some discomfort as the scope is passed, but it should last just a few seconds.  Various liquids and food will be given to you to chew and swallow. Some of the food and liquids will be mixed with green food coloring to make them easier to see. Your speech pathologist will tell you when to chew and swallow as he or she watches the pictures of your swallow on the screen.  You may be asked to turn your head, hold your breath, cough or take smaller bites to help find what makes it easier for you to swallow.  You will drink liquids and eat pudding, fruit and a cracker during the test.  Other food and liquids may be trialed based on your swallowing problem.

After the Test

Your speech pathologist will review the test results with you. You will be given a swallowing plan and any special materials you may need to help you with your swallowing problem, if indicated. The results will be shared with your doctor along with ideas about what and how you should eat and drink. 

© Copyright, (2/6/2008) Dodd Hall Rehabilitation, The Ohio State University Medical Center


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