A Video Swallow Study is an x-ray exam that allows us to visualize your swallowing mechanism using x-rays. Your speech pathologist will be present for this exam, and you will be fed various types of food and liquids.
There is no special preparation for this exam.
Your appointment will be scheduled ahead of time through the Department of Speech Pathology in conjunction with our department. Your speech pathologist will need to be present. This exam cannot be done until you have consulted with a Speech Pathologist. If your doctor orders this study, you must be seen by the Department of Speech Pathology before this exam can be scheduled. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your exam, as you will be required to register and also visit our billing office. Please keep in mind that our hospital is a Level 1 Trauma Center and emergencies often arise beyond our control. Occasionally this may delay the start of your exam. Another thing to be aware of is that we have many x-ray rooms in our department, and certain exams may only be performed in certain rooms. The order in which you arrive in our department may not necessarily be the order in which you are taken into an exam room due to room availability.
You will be escorted into the exam room by a radiologic technologist. You will have to change into a hospital gown, and a plain x-ray film of your chest will be taken. The Speech Pathologist will meet you in our exam room and prepare the various foods and liquids required for the study. This food and drink will be mixed with a powder called barium that will allow us to see the food using x-ray pictures. You will be placed in a special chair, and the speech pathologist will feed you as we watch and record an "x-ray movie" of you swallowing. A plain chest x-ray may be required at the conclusion of your exam. You can expect to be in the exam room for about 30-45 minutes.
You may eat and drink immediately following the exam. It is important that you drink plenty of liquids following your exam to avoid constipation from the barium.
The results of your exam will be given to you by the speech pathologist. At this time they will give you recommendations as to what you may or may not eat and drink, and any precautions you should take. The x-ray pictures that were taken and the "x-ray movie" that was recorded will be reviewed within 24 hours by the speech pathologist and a radiologist. A report will be sent to your doctor.