Are you having pain or difficulty while swallowing? ASLHC now offers swallowing evaluations 1-2 times
per month that are completed by an SLP with special FEES certification.
FEES stands for fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing. FEES is performed using a thin, flexible
instrument that is passed through the nose. The SLP is then able to visualize part of the throat while a
swallow is completed in order to assess how well the swallow is performed.
Signs of Dysphagia
Dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, is caused by either neuromuscular abnormalities (involving nerves or
muscles) or structural abnormalities, where the esophagus is narrowed or compromised. When these
abnormalities occur you may experience a variety of symptoms that may include:
- Coughing/gagging when swallowing
- Pain while swallowing
- “Gurgly” or hoarse voice after eating
- Unable to swallow
- Unexpected weight loss
- Frequent heartburn
- Sensation of food being stuck in your throat or in the middle of your chest (if you can’t breathe,
Do I need a FEES?
A FEES may be warranted if you have any of the above symptoms, if you have a medical condition where
dysphagia may be a high risk, or if you have had a stroke. Other conditions that may cause dysphagia
can include (but are not limited to): neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s, TBI, head and neck
cancer, muscular dystrophies, and others.