What is FEES?

Flexible Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing

FEES is one of two gold-standard evaluations of swallowing completed to assess for dysphagia and aspiration.

  • An endoscope is inserted into the nose and throat to obtain direct visualization of anatomical structures, including the vocal folds.
  • Typically no topical anesthetic is needed, as most patients tolerate the presence of the endoscope without difficulty.
  • During the assessment, patients are asked to swallow saliva, liquid, and food while the camera is in place.
  • The Speech-Language Pathologist is able to observe aspiration (food or liquid falling into the airway) or swallow inefficiencies (material not fully swallowing into the esophagus, causing residue in the throat).
  • During the assessment patients may be asked to say certain sounds allowing the voice box to also be examined.