FEES or Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing, is a standard instrumental procedure for evaluating oropharyngeal swallowing function. Using a flexible laryngoscope and camera, the base of tongue, throat and larynx can be visualized. When the person eats and drinks, the examiner is able to assess whether the swallow is normal or impaired. If impaired, the nature of the problem can be determined. Using dietary, behavioral, and postural interventions, the examiner then attempts to remediate the problem and determine how the patient can eat most safely and effectively.

Speech Language Pathologists are the main practitioners who evaluate oropharyngeal swallowing with this tool but some physicians have also developed expertise in using FEES in their practice. In some countries, such as Japan, physicians are the primary endoscopists and the speech pathologist may assist in the exam. In order for any practitioner to be proficient in this procedure, training is needed. This takes the form of skill training (how to handle a laryngoscope) and knowledge-based training (how to identify abnormal findings and know what interventions might be effective).

Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing

If you are interested in learning this procedure, I recommend you take a course and find a mentor to help you with the hands-on skill training. I have a textbook on the subject and have described the procedure in several chapters and articles. We offer courses at Boston Medical Center and in the San Francisco Bay region. We are also able to offer the Langmore FEES course at your site if that is a better arrangement for you.

Langmore FEES