What is FEES?

FEES stands for Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing. It is an instrumental diagnostic tool to assess a person’s swallow.

A small diameter scope is slid along the floor of the nose and hangs down in the back of the throat. From that vantage point, the Speech Language Pathologist has a bird’s-eye view of the base of the tongue, back of the throat, epiglottis (a structure in the throat that helps protect the airway), vocal cords, opening of the airway and the area where the esophagus opens.

Different textures of food and liquid dyed green (for contrast) are given to the person to eat and drink. During the FEES, the Speech Language Pathologist can see how the person’s swallow is actually functioning. The entire process is shown in real time on a screen. This allows for Speech Language Pathologist to educate the person on the diagnosis and work on interactive strategies to help the person swallow safely. A report will be given to the person and a copy will be sent to the doctor that ordered the FEES.

Why Safe Swallow AZ, PLLC?

Hi! I am Nancy Toms, owner of Safe Swallow AZ, PLLC. I received my Masters in Speech Language Pathology from West Virginia State University in 1988. My career has focused on working with the adult population with a wide range of needs. For the last 14 years I have worked in an acute hospital setting helping patients during their hardest times regain their ability to talk and eat. I have been trained in and performing FEES for over a decade. I have come to realize that FEES services need to be more accessible to the community.

The mealtime experience can become frightening when you find you cannot safely swallow your food; this is where FEES can play a pivotal role in diagnosing the root cause of the issue. Bring confidence and enjoyment back to mealtime with Safe Swallows AZ, PLLC.

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