Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) is a swallowing diagnostic procedure that is safe and well tolerated. The examination is performed at the patient’s bedside or in a physician’s office. The FEES procedure has revolutionized the field of dysphagia diagnostics. It examines the structure and function of the aero-digestive tract in relation to swallowing and obtains clinically useful information relative to swallowing physiology and swallowing safety.
The procedure involves passing a flexible endoscope along the floor of a patient’s nasal passage into the pharynx so that the larynx, pharynx and upper esophageal opening are viewed directly. Then trials of various green dyed liquids and food are administered to determine the safety and functioning of the swallowing mechanism. During the evaluation, position changes can be incorporated to determine their effectiveness in protecting the airway.
The FEES procedure takes less than twenty minutes to complete and does not require the patient to be subjected to radiation, barium or transfer to another facility. FEES is performed at the patient’s bedside. The results are discussed immediately with the patient, family and facility provider. A detailed report is provided for the patient’s medical record on the day of evaluation.