Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES)
FEES is performed by a speech pathologist or physician and is a test that allows observation of swallowing function using a small flexible endoscope that is positioned through the nose and into the middle of the throat. The procedure causes minimal discomfort and an anesthetic gel can be applied to reduce the sensitivity of the nose. The endoscope is attached to a light and video camera which records the entire examination while swallowing small amounts of food and liquid of different textures. Individuals may be asked to move the head into various positions or perform certain strategies or maneuvers to determine the safest and most effective way to swallow. After the test, results are provided and recommendations are made regarding optimal diet, food management strategies, and rehabilitation options.
Patients are fully alert during the procedure and are free to resume normal activities after the test is complete.