Unfamiliar with FEES? Below are some frequently asked questions (FEES FAQ) about this instrumental procedure for assessing oropharyngeal swallowing functions.
FEES or Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing is an instrumental procedure to assess the safety and efficiency of, primarily, the pharyngeal stage of swallowing. Susan Langmore, Ph.D, developed this procedure in the 1980s as an alternative, or adjunct, to the videofluoroscopic swallow study. She, along with Olson and Schatz, published the first paper describing the procedure in 1988. This was only five years after the first publication on videofluoroscopy assessment of swallowing in 1983 by Dr. Jere Logemann. For the historical development of this procedure, read Dr. Langmore’s excellent 2017 paper, History of Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing for Evaluation and Management of Pharyngeal Dysphagia: Changes over the Years, in the journal, Dysphagia. As this paper and others point out, FEES has gained undeniable credentials as a reliable, valid and safe procedure for assessing oropharyngeal swallowing functions. This is particularly significant for patients who cannot be transported, such as those on ventilators, in isolation, in intensive care in hospitals, and for residents in nursing care facilities. Today, FEES is considered a “gold standard” in the assessment of swallowing functions. Dr. Langmore published an excellent earlier review paper, found at the website: http://www.nature.com. In addition, well over 100 references to FEES and its use can be found on the Pubmed website (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov).
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