What is a Videofluoroscopy Swallowing Study (VFSS)?
A VFSS is a dynamic or moving x-ray that evaluates your swallow from mouth to oesophagus. Different foods or fluid consistencies are mixed with Barium contrast allowing them to be highly visible on X-ray imaging. Swallowing function is examined to evaluate how the muscles in your throat push the food into your lower food pipe (oesophagus) and at the same time, close off the upper airway (larynx) to avoid food or fluid entering the lungs. The study can also identify irregularities, narrowings, or out-pouchings of the lining of the upper aero-digestive tract. Our MSAC Speech Pathologists are trained to provide an "oesophageal sweep" to observe fluid travelling the entire length of the food pipe to the stomach. This assists with locating where the swallow impairment is occurring, and will help direct your treatment plan.
The evaluation is performed in a Radiology Department, with one of the MSAC speech pathologists, and a radiographer. A Radiologist can be consulted if required and will review the study after the examination takes place.. The evaluation takes 10-15 minutes, and you do not need to fast for the procedure. You may drive home afterwards.
The MSAC Speech Pathologist will discuss preliminary results with you immediately after the procedure. You may then return for further recommendations and discussion with the MSAC team should further intervention be advised, or see your referring specialist for results.