What is Flexible Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES)?
FEES is an instrumental swallowing assessment completed by a speech-language pathologist to diagnose swallowing disorders and establish recommendations for a safe diet and potential treatment. This is a simple instrumental assessment that allows the clinician to observe the structures of the throat and voicebox during eating and drinking and to determine swallow safety and integrity.
When and where can I receive services?
Referral from a physician is required, though scheduling is flexible. Most clients can be seen within two weeks of receiving the initial referral.
What else do I need to know about swallowing disorders?
The medical term for a swallowing disorder is dysphasia. Dysphagia can occur from issues in the mouth, throat, esophagus, or any combination of the three. Dysphasia can be caused by a variety of neurological conditions, trauma, or cancer, and symptoms may include coughing, choking, wet voice, unexplained weight loss, recurrent pneumonia, or a sticking sensation in the throat.
What costs are associated with these services?
If the patient is seen at the Marshall University Speech and Hearing Center, the speech-language pathologist will bill your insurance for the service provided. Please check with your insurance to determine the co-pay or cost associated with these services. If you are interested in receiving FEES services at your local skilled nursing facility, please call for pricing.
How does a FEES differ from a Modified Barium Swallow Study (MBSS)?
Both FEES and MBSS are forms of instrumental swallowing examinations. Both assessments assess swallowing physiology and aspiration. Typically, a patient does not need both assessments.
The MBSS must be completed in an x-ray suite. For this procedure, the patient swallows different consistencies, and the speech-language pathologist assesses the swallow via x-ray. For FEES, the speech-language pathologist places a scope through the nose and into the throat while the patient is eating to assess the swallow. This allows for the visualization of the structures during the swallow.