Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES)
Monkey Mouths is currently the only pediatric private practice in Texas that performs fiberoptic endoscopic evaluations of swallowing (FEES studies) independently in an outpatient setting. This radiation-free test is the safer, more comfortable alternative to a modified barium swallow study performed in a hospital setting.
FEES is used to evaluate your child’s swallowing abilities. It is an accurate and safe way to gain information that involves passing a flexible endoscope through your child’s nose into the throat to directly see all structures after numbing the nose with nasal spray to minimize pain or discomfort. During the study, your child will be asked to speak so that the movement of the structures can be observed. After that, your child will be asked to eat and drink food so that his/her swallowing ability can be observed. The study generally takes less than 30 minutes to complete. After the study is complete, the speech pathologist will give you and your child recommendations for how to improve the safety and timing of the swallow as well as recommendations for your child’s diet.
Why does Monkey Mouths use FEES?
- It can be done in our office instead of a hospital
- It is less expensive than a Modified Barium
- Swallow Study (MBSS)
- It does not expose your child to radiation
- It is the most direct way to view your child’s swallowing and voicing
- Your child’s normal foods can be used to test swallowing ability
Do I need a prescription from my physician for a FEES study?
Yes. Although a speech-pathologist can practice independently, Monkey Mouths does require that a prescription be obtained from your physician for a FEES study. After speaking with you on the phone, we will make recommendations to your physician as to whether or not FEES is an appropriate evaluation tool for your child. We will also want your physician to recommend medications as necessary for the study. After the study, we will want to coordinate care and/or additional referrals with your physician.
Is FEES covered by my insurance?
Many insurance companies recognize FEES as their preferred method for swallow evaluation. That being said, we have a limited number of insurance companies that we are currently in network with. For other families, we do have an affordable time-of-service option of $250.
New to Monkey Mouths?
1. Call us at (817) 479-7019 to schedule an evaluation, where a therapist determines whether your child would benefit from therapy.
2. Moving forward, the first therapy appointment is scheduled, and 3- and 6-month goals are set for your child. We discuss progress and goals together, and your family is integrated along every step of the therapy journey.
“Our whole family LOVES Monkey Mouths! We go for therapy twice weekly and are always greeted with happy smiles…I couldn’t recommend this place enough.”