What is a FEES?
The Flexible Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) is a medical procedure performed by a Speech-Language Pathologist to evaluate swallowing function. A flexible scope is passed through the nasal cavity and part way down the back of the throat. The camera on the end of the scope allows the examiner to view the airway and the opening to the esophagus. After the camera is in position, a variety of foods are provided for the patient to chew and swallow while the examiner looks for a swallowing disorder (dysphagia), including airway penetration/aspiration. The examiner will first see what the patient does on their own to manage their swallowing. Then, postural adjustments or compensatory maneuvers may be suggested. After the procedure, the patient will be provided with education about their current swallowing function based on video evidence, corresponding with and supporting physician recommendations.
Using FEES to assess swallowing function comes with many advantages:
- Direct view of laryngeal and pharyngeal structures
- No radiation exposure, in contrast with alternative MBS procedure
- Photo/video documentation of swallowing difficulties, airway penetration, and aspiration
- Assesses vocal quality and function concurrently
- Biofeedback for patient improvement
Candidacy for FEES?
You may be a candidate for FEES if you meet any of the following criteria:
- Coughing while eating
- Wet, gurgly voice after swallowing
- Feeling food getting stuck in the throat
- Requiring multiple swallows per bite
- Feeling of decline in swallowing ability
Potential complications from dysphagia include:
- Choking/Breathing difficulty
- Weight loss
- Oral infection
- Dental problem
Ordering a FEES?
- The CPT code used for the FEES: 92612; FEES review CPT code performed at f/u with the physician: 92613
- The ICD-10 code with which FEES is commonly associated: R13.12 Dysphagia, oropharyngeal phase
- Schedule the FEES appointment by contacting our office, ENT specialists @ 801-268-4141.
- The patient will be followed by one of our ENT physicians throughout the evaluation, and a follow-up appointment will be
- scheduled with that ENT physician 1 week following the evaluation.
- The ENT physician will follow-up with the referring provider to report results.