Flexible Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing NYC

Swallow Study in New York performed by NDoscopy Dysphagia Specialists

NDoscopy Dysphagia Specialists performed a specialized procedure called Flexible Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing.  A small endoscope is passed through the nose to view the pharynx and larynx.  The exam is performed at patient’s bedside for a no hassle approach.  Food and liquid are provided while the swallow is viewed in real time and video-recorded for a comprehensive, detailed view of the swallowing.  NDoscopy Dysphagia Specialists service the greater NYC area including the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, Westchester and Rockland Counties.  Contact us for more information!

Types of Swallowing Studies

There are two instrumental swallow assessments, the modified barium swallow study (MBS) (aka videofluoroscopy) or flexible endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) aka fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing.  Both procedures are crucial for diagnosing and treating disorders of swallowing.  Both tests help to determine if food or liquids are going into the airway (termed aspiration), instead of the stomach.  The MBS and FEES can also determine the reason the person is having difficulty swallowing, the safest foods and liquids and if certain positions or strategies help with swallowing.  Both exams provide significant value and tools for diagnosing and treating swallowing disorders.  There are unique advantages and disadvantages to each test.  

Modified Barium Swallow Study

A modified barium swallow study is an x-ray of the swallowing process.  The procedure is performed in a radiology suite, ideally with a radiologist and a speech-language pathologist.  Food and liquids of various viscosities (thickness) are coated with barium to view the material more clearly.  The patient then swallows the liquid and foods that are provided and are viewed in real time, under an x-ray.

Flexible Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing

Flexible endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) is a procedure where a small endoscope with a camera is placed into the nares to view the pharynx and larynx.  A physician or skilled clinician performs the FEES assessment. Food and liquids may be dyed blue or green for better viewing of the material.  

Advantages of Flexible Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES)

Flexible Endosopic Evaluation of Swallowing is recommended for individuals with difficulty swallowing food or liquids.   

Advantages of FEES

  •  FEES is completed at the patient’s bedside.  MBS requires transportation to a radiology suite, which is time consuming and costly.  FEES also does not require barium or radiation.  
  • FEES is equal or even better than MBS at detecting aspiration and severity of residue (Langmore et al, 1991, Leder et al, 1998, Kelly et al, 2007).
  • FEES allows the ability to assess secretion management
  • FEES can be performed throughout the entire meal, without the time constraints of an MBS due to radiation.  FEES can also be performed multiple times on the same patient for biofeedback as needed.  
  • Cost effective

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