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Position Statement: Flexible Endoscopic Examinations of Swallowing (FEES)

Position Statement: Flexible Endoscopic Examinations of Swallowing (FEES)

Flexible endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) is a diagnostic procedure used to evaluate velopharyngeal, phonatory, and swallowing functions in adults and children. This study allows for assessment of the anatomy as well as direct observation of swallowing function and control of the movement of secretions, liquids and food. Flexible endoscopy may also be utilized as a therapeutic aid and biofeedback tool during the conduct of swallowing therapy.

Physicians are the only professionals qualified and licensed to render medical diagnoses related to the identification of pathology affecting swallowing functions. Therefore, as a diagnostic test, FEES should be performed by a qualified physician or a qualified health care provider with training in this procedure, under appropriate supervision of, and interpreted by, a physician.  FEES examinations should be performed by providers with adequate knowledge, skills and training to safely perform the procedure.

Approved 3/1/2003
Modified 3/6/2006
Revised 9/28/2013

Important Disclaimer Notice (Updated 7/31/14)

Position statements are approved by the American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery or Foundation (AAO-HNS/F) Boards of Directors and are typically generated from AAO-HNS/F committees. Once approved by the Academy or Foundation Board of Directors, they become official position statements and are added to the existing position statement library. In no sense do they represent a standard of care. The applicability of position statements, as guidance for a procedure, must be determined by the responsible physician in light of all the circumstances presented by the individual patient. Adherence to these clinical position statements will not ensure successful treatment in every situation. As with all AAO-HNS/F guidance, this position statement should not be deemed inclusive of all proper treatment decisions or methods of care, nor exclusive of other treatment decisions or methods of care reasonably directed to obtaining the same results. Position statements are not intended to and should not be treated as legal, medical, or business advice.

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