For Physicians

*Patients do not require a physician’s referral for service. You may still refer, but ensure your patients know there will be a cost. Many patients will have our fees reimbursed by their private insurer.

*There will be a physician on site during the examination. 

Why Saskachewan Swallowing Diagnostics?

Properly diagnosing swallowing issues can be difficult. Imaging is essential, yet can be challenging to arrange. Waiting for outpatient appointments and assessment results, as well as arranging transportation, can be complicated and difficult for patients, families and practitioners alike.

We know first-hand the dilemma of patients being “stuck” on modified diets or fluids, losing weight, choking and/or suffering aspiration pneumonia because of waits for inpatient instrumental assessments or a patient's inability to  mobilize or travel. 

We can help. 

Saskatchewan Swallowing Diagnostics uses Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) 

What is FEES?

FEES is a well-established procedure that is performed by a specially trained Speech-Language Pathologist (S-LP), and provides sensitivity equal to or greater than Videofluoroscopic Swallow Studies/Modified Barium Studies (VFSS/MBS) and Bedside Swallow Evaluations in determining aspiration, penetration and pharyngeal residue. 

Research shows that clinical Bedside Swallow Evaluations (BSSE) can have unacceptably high error rates in determining appropriate diet recommendations. When looking at patients with known aspiration, FEES has proven to be the superior procedure in identifying aspiration, penetration and pharyngeal residue.

Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) is an instrumental swallowing study that is completed with the use of a small, slender endoscope being passed transnasally. The endoscope, which is equipped with a bright, clear LED light and an HD camera, allows the SLP to clearly view the patient's pharynx, larynx and esophageal opening while the patient is eating and drinking. These color images are projected to the attached laptop in real-time.


Can be performed in any location. MBS requires that the patient travel to a diagnostic imaging department in an inpatient facility. 

No barium is consumed, and no radiation is required. 

No need to coordinate with the Radiology department's schedule. 

Suitable for bariatric patients or difficult to position patients.

Video recording of endoscopies documents details that cannot be as appreciated by the unaided eye in real time. Stills can be taken to compare baseline and follow-up examinations. 

Procedure can be used as biofeedback during compensatory swallowing maneuvers/therapy. 

Secondary assessment of secretion management, velopharyngeal closure and/or laryngeal/pharyngeal surfaces & functions can be assessed during the FEES examination.

FEES examinations are well tolerated by most patients. Contraindications for FEES include : cases of bilateral obstruction of nasal passages, history of epistaxis, history of syncope, history of facial trauma, severe agitation, or inability to cooperate with the examination.

Referral Form For Physicians

Referral Form.pdf