Perspective - Otolaryngology Online Journal (2021) COVID-19-ENT
Flexible Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES)
Research Associate, ENT Head & Neck Surgeon Robotic Surgery, Hygeia Hospital, Greece
- *Corresponding Author:
- Anatoli Pataridou
Research Associate, Ent Head & Research Associate, ENT Head & Neck Surgeon Robotic Surgery, Hygeia Hospital, Greece
E-mail: [email protected]
Received Date: April 22, 2021; Accepted Date: April 24, 2021; Published Date: April 30, 2021
Dysphagia, a disorder with multifactorial aetiopathogenic features, presents several problems regarding both the definition of the nature of the condition and the classification of specific deficits in the structures and in the various stages of swallowing.
Keywords: Diagnosis; Fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation; Swallowing disorders
Fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) is now a first choice method for studying swallowing disorders on account of the various advantages it offers: easy to use, very well tolerated, allows bedside examination and is economic. Nevertheless, this diagnostic procedure is not without risks, the most probable consequences of which include discomfort, gagging and/or vomiting, vasovagal syncope, epistaxis, mucosal perforation, adverse reactions to topical anaesthetics and laryngospasm.
Dysphagia or else swallowing disorders, are associated with any subjective or objective difficulty in swallowing solid or liquid foods or the appearance of coughing or choking when swallowing. It is a very serious symptom that should be treated promptly, to avoid more serious complications for the patient. Dysphagia may be seen at various age groups, from infants to the elderly and may be the result of head and neck diseases, mouth, pharynx, larynx, palate malignancies, neuromuscular disorders, neurological diseases (multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease etc.), strokes, or it may follow after head injuries, complications in surgery, or x-raying in the head and neck area. In children, it is mainly due to congenital disorders, while in the elderly mainly due to degeneration of the central nervous system causing dysfunction in swallowing and other neurological diseases that lead to loss of consciousness, etc. Swallowing disorders, however, can also occur suddenly, if they are a result of a car accident, trauma or postoperative complication, and in these cases immediate restoration of the feeding function is required for the patient’s survival. This can happen during feeding via a Levin tube or even gastrostomy. Dysphagia is being diagnosed with a very specialized and affordable test, which can be done at the clinic, at the hospital or at home if the patient cannot be transported. This examination is known as FEES (Flexible endoscopic evaluation of swallowing).