Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES)
FEES is an instrumental examination of swallowing that allows the examiner to view food and liquid as it passes through the pharynx or throat. This is the most critical phase of swallowing since this is where food and liquid pass by the airway.
In order to view the swallow, a small flexible fiberoptic scope is passed through the nose and held in position throughout the exam. No anesthetic is required and regular foods are used. The exam is video-recorded so the individual is able to view portions of the exam immediately. Recommendations will be discussed with the patient at the time of the exam and a report is sent to the referring physician.
FEES is often used in conjunction with radiological examinations for swallowing such as the modified barium swallow or barium esophagram. Approximately one and one-half hours is allowed for a full consultation and examination.