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Let’s get informed. What is FEES?

Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) is a quick and painless test that starts with the use of a small, slender endoscope being passed through the floor of the patient's nasal pathway. The endoscope, which is equipped with a bright, clear LED light and an HD camera, allows the SLP to clearly view the patient's pharynx, larynx and esophageal opening while the patient is eating and drinking. The patient’s food preferences are encouraged! These color images are projected to the attached laptop in real-time.

FEES doesn’t hurt. And it's safe.

The entire test takes approximately 5-10 minutes and is not pain inducing. As the scope is passed through the nose, the patient may note mild discomfort, however, as the scope enters the throat this feeling of discomfort goes away. Check out our resources page for more information regarding safety and comfort using FEES!

Normal swallow comparison between MBS and FEES

Scope Images

FEES is interactive.

The treating SLP will get to provide (and bill for!) dysphagia treatment while instructing the patient to use suggested compensatory strategies while observing the patient's response to therapeutic maneuvers. Biofeedback is used throughout the exam so that the patient is able to view their own swallowing process in live, color images on the screen. FEES also involves the treating SLP most familiar with the patient and can be done for long periods of time to address areas like fatigue during a meal within the geriatric population.

Why FEES is the clear choice.

FEES is a well-established, ASHA supported procedure that has consistently provided sensitivity equal to or greater than Videofluoroscopic Swallow Studies/Modified Barium Studies (VFSS/MBS) and Bedside Swallow Evaluations (BSSE) in determining aspiration, penetration and pharyngeal residue. Research shows that clinical Bedside Swallow Evaluations (BSSE) just don't cut it for determining appropriate diet recommendations. When looking at patients with known aspiration, FEES has proven to be the superior procedure in identifying aspiration, penetration and pharyngeal residue.