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Videofluoroscopic Swallow Study.
A Videofluoroscopic swallow study is a test in which your child swallows Barium under an X-ray, so the process of swallowing and the movement of food from the mouth to the stomach can be watched. This study is videotaped so specialists can carefully study the results. It can be called by many different names including "oral-pharyngeal motility study," "Cookie swallow," or "rehabilitation swallow," depending on where it is being done.

Why are they performed?
Video fluoroscopic swallow studies are recommended when there is concern about how well your child swallows, how well the airway is protected during swallowing, and how well food moves from the mouth to the stomach. Doctors are particularly interested in seeing whether food or liquid is being Aspirated (drawn into) the child's airway. This is a serious situation, which can result in chronic lung and breathing problems.
A videoflurorscopic swallow study may be considered for your child if several of the following issues occur regularly: frequent choking coughing or gagging during meals trouble handling saliva gurgly respiration chronic respiratory problems (such as pneumonia) very fussy eating behaviors difficulty directing food to be swallowed . Your child's doctor will make the referral for this study.

When Are They Done?
These studies usually are done on an outpatient basis in the X-ray or radiology part of the hospital. Usually the radiologist and a speech pathologist or other feeding specialist is present to interpret the study.

What to Expect
Prior to the study, a complete feeding assessment should take place to evaluate your child's eating skill. This gives the therapist a head start on knowing how to present the barium and what types of textures will be necessary to use during the study (thin, thick, chewy, and so forth).
The purpose of the videofluoroscopic swallow study is to view as typical a swallow as possible. As a parent, you may be asked to be present during the study, to help your child remain calm. You and any other participants will be required to wear X-ray protection capes.

Your child will be seated in an upright support chair. Views probably will be taken from the front and side. Your child will be given one or more different textured barium mixtures that show up well on X-ray. Some children take thin liquid, and others may take a paste or chewable food that has been coated in barium. You might be asked to bring your child's favorite bottle, cup, and spoon to keep the procedure as familiar to your child as possible. The barium liquid and paste can be mixed with favorite foods you bring from home. Your child is given small tastes, and the video X-ray traces the swallow and follows the food or liquid down the throat to the stomach. Not much barium is needed to get a good view of a swallow. Different treatment options may be tried on the spot if the professionals find a problem and want to see how different textures or positions change the results.

The results will be shared with you by your child's doctor, the radiologist, and/or other specialists present. The future course of action will be discussed and determined by your primary care team.

© 1994 By Therapy Skill Builders, a division of Communication Skill Builders
Inc./602-323-7500/ Catalog No 4332

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