Flexible Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing and Modified Barium Swallow

If you or a family member have symptoms of dysphagia, the best place to start is with a thorough evaluation. A flexible endoscopic evaluation of swallow (FEES) or a modified barium swallow (MBS) are swallowing test performed by a specially trained speech therapist to diagnose any problems with your throat and swallowing muscles. Your therapist may try different head postures, food and liquid textures, or swallowing strategies during your evaluation to try to immediately improve the safety or comfort of your swallowing.

A FEES is performed with a small scope camera inserted through your nose into your throat. You will then eat and drink several foods and liquids that have been dyed green to assess how your throat muscles are working. 

Performing a FEES exam with pt.
Patient example of FEES
Example FEES foods
FEES example food test
Example FEES procedure
FEES example during the exam

An MBS is a video x-ray of your swallowing. You will sit in front of an x-ray camera and eat and drink several foods with barium in them. Barium is a chalky contrast material that allows the food to show up on the x-ray.


Providers discussing a FEES/MBS exam result.

Providers discussing the results of a MBS exam.

FEES/MBS exam x-ray.

Example FEES and MBS x-ray.

For both of these evaluations your speech pathologist will discuss the results and plan of care with you during the appointment. Your speech pathologist may recommend swallowing therapydiet and texture modifications, swallowing strategies, further evaluations, or surgery such as esophageal dilations.