Joy McCann Culverhouse Center for Swallowing Disorders

Modified Barium Swallow

The purpose of the Modified Barium Swallow (MBS) is to evaluate an individual's swallowing function and to make recommendations for strategies and food textures which will optimize safety and efficiency when swallowing.  The MBS is performed by a physician and speech pathologist.  Patients are instructed to swallow various food textures mixed with barium while x-ray images are taken and video-recorded.  As the food travels from the mouth to the esophagus, the physician and speech pathologist are able to observe a magnified view of all the structures involved in swallowing.  Individuals may be asked to 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 may eat their normal diet on the day of the study.  The test is painless and afterward individuals can resume their normal activities.