A videofluoroscopic swallow study (also commonly referred to as modified barium swallow study) is an objective assessment of swallow function.
How is the test performed?
The child is seen in radiology in conjunction with both a pediatric radiologist and speech language pathologist with specialized training in pediatric dysphagia. The parent remains with the child in the radiology suite.
This test is available and performed on both an inpatient and outpatient basis.
What happens during the study?
The child is positioned in a typical feeding position consistent with their age and development. They are given a variety of food consistencies (thin liquid, thick liquid, puree, soft solid, hard solid) injected with barium. The study assesses all 3 phases of the swallow from the oral preparatory phase, oral initiation phase and the pharyngeal phase.
Why is the study conducted?
The purpose of this test is to assess for aspiration (food/liquid entering the trachea) from above with oral feeding.
What happens after the study is complete?
Results of the test are given to the family immediately upon completion of the test. The family is given specific instructions on what diet level and textures are safest for their child, what diet consistencies to avoid and when supplemental (NG-tube/ g-tube) feedings may be necessary.