A swallowing study can be advised for different types of swallow disorders.

Two types of a swallowing study:

  1. Contrast swallow (at the Radiology Department): depending on your symptoms, you will be given food and/or drink containing a contrast agent. Usually, a speech therapist is present who will give you a beverage and/or food during the test. Thanks to the contrast agent, anatomical and functional abnormalities will be revealed. This means that what happens in the larynx and in the upper part of the oesophagus can be seen. The objective of this test is to look at any fine motor and sensory disturbances. While you eat or drink, photographs are taken of the swallowing process.
  2. Endoscopic examination or FEES (Flexible Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing): in this test, the ENT physician inserts a thin tube which is fitted with a camera, into the throat through the nose. The speech therapist gives you different types of food and drink (depending on your symptoms) and tries to find a safer and more comfortable way of swallowing by, for instance, modifying the drinks or your swallowing posture. This test is performed during a consultation, is pain free and does not require anaesthesia.

After the procedure

The physician or speech therapist will discuss the results with you.

Centres and specialist areas

Ear, nose, and throat diseases

Latest publication date: 01/04/2021
Supervising author: Dr Vermeiren Judith