Flexible Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) Test

If You Need A Swallowing Study, There’s No Reason to Go to D.C.! We’ve Got You Covered Right Here in Brandywine!

Your physician has referred you to one of our Speech-Language Pathologists to test your ability to swallow. You will have an examination called a Flexible Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) test.

What happens during a FEES test?

A Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) who is specially trained in doing a FEES test will have you get comfortable in a seated position, while a small camera called an endoscope, is placed in one of your nostrils and moved through your nose into your throat.

The SLP will give you varying consistencies of food and/or drink that has been safely colored with green food coloring. The color shows up clearly on their device so they can view food and liquid as it moves through your throat.

The pictures taken using the endoscope allow the SLP to review the images with you once you have completed the test.

Is a FEES test safe? Does it hurt?

The passing of the endoscope through your nose may cause some discomfort at first. Once the endoscope is above your throat, any discomfort you are feeling will stop. The test is extremely safe with a low risk of complications or side effects. The amount of food and/or drink you are given by the SLP will be carefully controlled. The test lasts approximately 45 to 50 minutes.

How should I prepare for my FEES test?

The great thing is there is no preparation necessary. There are no meal or medication restrictions. You can eat and drink as you normally do, prior to the appointment. If you are currently receiving your food and/or drink through a feeding tube you can take your feeds as normal up until your appointment. Your feeding tube does not need to be removed before the test.

What happens afterwards?

The exam is recorded on video so you can view portions of it right after it is over. Recommendations will be discussed with the SLP at the time of the test and a full report is sent to your referring physician.

Where can I go to have this test done?

You do not have to go far. You do not even have to travel into the District for this test. In fact, you can have the test performed really close to home, right here in your own backyard! The MedStar Health Physical Therapy at Brandywine, MD clinic is close by and convenient for you to come in for a FEES test. We’re located at: 13950 Brandywine Road, Brandywine, MD 20613 or call 301-782-2250 to make an appointment.