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Feeding and Swallowing Evaluation  E-mail

Videofluoroscopic Evaluation for Feeding and Swallowing

A "modified barium swallow" is a videofluoroscopic procedure. It assesses a child's ability to prepare food in the mouth and pass it through the throat to swallow.

The child is fed while seated in an upright or slightly reclined position. Barium is mixed with different consistences of food to allow it to be seen on X-ray. The movement of food is examined as it passes through the various structures of the mouth and throat. The procedure is typically videotaped for future reference.

Positioning, oral motor and other strategies may be used during the procedure to see if the swallow can be improved.

The Evaluation is done by:

  • Occupational Therapist
  • Speech-Language Pathologist
  • Radiologist (from London Health Sciences Centre/Children's Hospital of Western Ontario)

The study will assess the coordination and efficiency of the swallow. It will also determine the risk for, or presence of aspiration of food into the airway. Specific problem areas may be identified.

"Modified Barium Swallow" vs "Barium Swallow"

A "Barium Swallow" studies the structure and function of the esophagus and stomach. It is often used if gastroesophageal reflux GER (ie: stomach contents backing up into the esophagus) is suspected.

If GER is suspected, this should be evaluated prior to a referral for a modified barium swallow.

Last Updated ( Monday, 07 April 2014 )