Head and Senior Consultant
Diagnosis and Treatment Options
Clinical Swallowing Examination
A clinical swallowing examination includes a review of your medical history, enquiring about your swallowing difficulty and symptoms, an evaluation of muscle function of the mouth and throat, the quality and strength of your cough and voice, your ability to swallow your saliva.
You will be asked to drink some water, perhaps trial food or modified food consistencies. This information together with your background medical history and complaints will help the speech therapist to decide whether you need to have a more detailed instrumental examination.
Fiberoptic Endoscopic Examination of Swallowing (F.E.E.S)
F.E.E.S involves the insertion of a flexible endoscope into the nose to visualise the pharynx and larynx (voice box) while eating and drinking foods and liquids of different consistencies.
Videofluoroscopy (or a modified barium study) is a swallowing examination, which is carried out at the x-ray department. This study focuses on the oral cavity (mouth), pharynx (throat) and upper oesophagus (food pipe). Patients are given different food and liquid consistencies mixed with some barium powder to eat and drink. A continuous moving x-ray allows the radiologist and speech therapist to visualise the swallowing process ‘real-time’ and determine what is wrong.