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This information has been written by the Speech and Language Therapists at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. It provides you with information about having a Fibreoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallow (FEES).

What is a FEES?

FEES is an assessment of swallow function which allows Speech and Language Therapists to assess the safety of your swallowing. The assessment is usually carried out by two Speech and Language Therapists.

What happens during a FEES?

The procedure involves the insertion of a flexible tube (‘scope’) through the nose to provide a ‘bird’s-eye-view’ of your throat. You may then be asked to carry out some exercises so we can assess the movement of the structures in your throat. You may be given some food or drinks. The drinks are usually dyed with blue or green food colouring. No anaesthesia is required for this assessment.

Where will my assessment take place?

If you are an inpatient the assessment will take place at your bedside. If you are an outpatient, you will be collected from the Outpatient Therapies Reception and taken to a treatment room in the hospital. You may have a friend or relative accompanying you during this assessment if you choose.

How should I prepare for a FEES?

There are no special preparations for this assessment. You do not need to fast or undress for this test. Please inform us if you are allergic to any food types or food dye.

Are there any risks involved in having a FEES?

There is a small chance of nose bleeds, feeling faint or feeling tightness in your throat. You may experience discomfort, particularly at the beginning of the assessment. You can ask to stop the assessment at any time.

What alternatives are there?

A Videofluroscopy is an alternative detailed swallow examination. This test involves sitting in front of a moving X-ray, however it may not give your treating therapist the information they need in order to make the appropriate recommendations.

What happens if I decide not to have a FEES?

The decision to have this test is entirely yours and you are free to decline. However, this may mean that your therapist is limited in the recommendations they can make for your care.

What happens after a FEES?

The whole procedure takes around half an hour. The Speech and Language Therapist will look at the video in detail and may discuss the results with an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor, if appropriate.

We aim to give all patients immediate feedback on the day.

If you are an in-patient, the Speech and Language Therapist will talk through the results with you.

If you are an outpatient, a copy of the report will be sent to your consultant and to your local Speech and Language Therapist, if appropriate.

How can I find out more information?

If you have any more questions, please do not hesitate to ask your Speech and Language Therapist.

Contact information

National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery

Queen Square London


Direct line: 020 3448 3043

Switchboard: 0845 155 5000 / 020 3456 7890


Where can I get more information

NHS Choices Provides information about NHS services.

UCLH cannot accept responsibility for information provided by other organisations.

You can also leave feedback about your experience here

Page last updated: 25 April 2024

Review due: 01 April 2026