The VFSS team consists of a consultant radiologist who takes the x-rays and a radiographer who operates the x-ray machine and recording equipment. There will also be one or two speech and language therapists who will prepare the food and fluids, guide you through the assessment and interpret the findings along with the consultant.
Other professionals may be invited to the appointment if needed, eg physiotherapist or local speech and language therapist. Family/carers are encouraged to be involved in the examination, because involvement and understanding is important in helping you to accept any changes to your diet that may be needed.
The procedure will take approximately 30 minutes.
You may need to remove clothing and wear a gown if the radiographer feels it is appropriate. Otherwise, a gown will be worn over the top of clothes just to protect your clothing from spills. Avoid wearing anything around the neck area which will impact the view of the x-ray, i.e. high neck jumpers, scarves or ties. Avoid necklaces and earrings which will need to be removed.
You will be appropriately positioned standing or seated close to the x-ray machine. If you are a wheelchair user it is not possible to remain seated in your own chair, and help is available by a member of staff or a hoist to transfer you from your chair to the x-ray seat. Please let us know in advance if you will need help.
If you have a feeding tube in your nose or stomach it does not have to be removed. You will be given small amounts of liquid, and different textured food as appropriate, coated in a paste that will show up on the x-ray. It tastes chalky but is not unpleasant.
During eating and drinking, x-ray pictures will appear on a television monitor showing the swallow.
You will be able to rinse your mouth as soon as the examination is finished.