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What is the fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) test?

The Feeding and Swallowing Program provides a comprehensive test called fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES). This is an important evaluation of your child’s ability to eat and swallow that requires an experience study team to analyze the results.

During the FEES test:

  • The inside of the nose is numbed with a spray anesthetic so that your child will not be in any pain.
  • A doctor will thread an endoscope (a thin, flexible tube that is attached to a bright light and a camera) into your child’s nose.
  • Our feeding and swallowing study team will view the structures of your child’s nose and throat (the upper aerodigestive tract) on a screen.
  • Our team will watch how these structures function when your child eats and swallows.
  • You will be invited to view the screen as well.

The procedure lasts anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes. Unlike other tests that might be offered at other hospitals, this evaluation does not use radiation and is tolerated very well by most patients.

The goal of this evaluation is to determine the safest way for your child to take food and/or liquid and to help your doctors make a more informed plan for treatment.

Learn about the airway treatments we offer.

The Feeding and Swallowing Program combines pediatric expertise in otolaryngology (the study of diseases of the ear and throat), speech pathology, and occupational therapy to provide comprehensive evaluation of your child’s ability to eat and swallow.

Your child may be referred to this program if he or she has an airway disorder that makes it difficult to swallow. Maybe your child struggles with aspiration (the passing of liquid and/or food into the lungs) due to a disorder such as laryngeal cleft. Rest assured that you and your child are in great hands.

Make an appointment

To make an appointment or speak with a member of our team, please call 617-355-3795.

International patients

For families residing outside of the United States, please call Boston Children's Global Services at +1-617-355-5209.

Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing | Programs & Services