When to Suspect Swallowing Problems

If you or your loved one are experiencing any of these issues:

  • Coughing/Choking During or After Eating/Drinking
  • Wet Gurgling Vocal Quality
  • Recurrent Pneumonia
  • Complaints of Food Getting “stuck” in the Throat After Swallowing
  • Increased Difficulty Eating/Drinking Certain Textures Not Related to Dentition (ex: Rice, Medication)
  • Recent Surgical Procedures in the Neck Area
  • Trauma or Stroke
  • Head or Neck Cancer
  • Neurological Diseases
  • Tracheostomy, History of Endotracheal Tube or Ventilators

What to Expect During a FEES

The FEES will be performed by a Speech Language Pathologist that has specialized training in FEES. During the FEES, you will be sitting upright in either a chair or your wheelchair (if applicable). If you are bedbound, the FEES can be performed at bedside. A small diameter scope is passed through your nose and will “hang out” in the back of your throat to get a bird’s eye view of your swallow as we try out different foods and drinks.

  • This will be regular foods of different textures such as:
    • Apple Sauce
    • Juice
    • Crackers
    • Cookies
    • Or Food You are struggling with and want to work on
  • No Barium is used in this procedure
  • Green food coloring is added to the food/drink to better view the food on camera

The Speech Language Pathologist will walk you through each step of the process and educate you on what is on the screen. Any techniques and exercises that may assist in a safer swallow will be taught in real time and will then be performed while on camera to see if the exercises work. Family and any caregiver are welcome to be apart of the process (barring permission from the patient) to learn the techniques and problems associated with the patient’s swallow thus becoming part of the ongoing recovery and/or management of the swallow.

To Top