Our FEES assessment
Our speech and language therapists can provide or refer patients who require a FEES, for an objective swallowing assessment. A FEES assessment can provide the speech and language therapist with lots of information on an individual's swallow and whether they will require further therapy or advice to ensure they have a safe and effective swallow.
What is a FEES assessment?
A FEES (fibreoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing) is a detailed assessment of an individual's swallow using a camera called an endoscope. The camera is long, thin and flexible and will be passed through the nose so that a clear view of the throat can be seen. It allows the speech and language therapist to look at different ways to swallow in order to make this as safe and effective as possible.
The procedure is extremely safe and has a low risk of complications or side effects. The individual may experience some discomfort when the camera is being passed through but this usually stops as the camera is fully positioned in the throat.
Why would someone need a FEES assessment?
Someone may need a FEES if they are concerned about any aspect of their eating, drinking and swallowing. Firstly, one of our speech therapists will arrange a visit to do a personal assessment. This will involve them assessing the swallow in different ways, usually by listening and feeling the throat and chest. If the speech therapist is unable to find out all of the necessary information to provide advice and treatment, you may then require a FEES assessment.
What would a FEES assessment involve?
A FEES assessment will take approximately 10-20 minutes. You will be invited to a clinic or hospital at a time to suit you. The procedure is usually administered by two speech and language therapists. One therapist will complete the FEES procedure and another will give you instructions such as, swallowing different foods or liquids. You will be asked to eat different foods and we may try swallowing in different ways or using different techniques to make this safer. The procedure involves a small flexible camera being passed through the nose so that it sits in the throat. There may be some discomfort during this procedure but there should be no discomfort once the camera is placed. Once the therapists are able to see inside the throat they will be able to assess whether the swallow is safe whilst eating and drinking different textures and thicknesses.
The pictures from the procedure will be recorded so that the speech and language therapist is able to analyse these fully. From this procedure the speech and language therapist will be able to devise a plan to ensure that your swallow is safe and effective.
Who would benefit from a FEES assessment?
A FEES will benefit anyone who feels that their swallow is unsafe or ineffective. This is usually anyone with eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties, also known as dysphagia. Dysphagia can be caused by the following conditions:
- Neurological problems
- Throat cancer
- Laryngeal surgery
- Head and neck cancer
- Physical disabilities
- Learning difficulties
- Palliative care needs
- Normal ageing process
Our speech and language therapists can provide a FEES assessment with minimal waiting lists in order to ensure your safety, and at a time to suit you.
If you feel you may benefit from speech and language therapy or would like any more information on our services please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0330 088 5643.