TNE Scope & Tech-Rig
FEESST (Flexible Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing with Sensory Testing)
As a result of the need to assess sensation during swallowing, Dr. Aviv developed FEESST (Flexible Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing with Sensory Testing), a method and device which measures sensitivity in the throat.
FEESST is a technique used to directly examine both the motor and sensory functions of swallowing so that proper treatment can be given to patients with swallowing difficulties to decrease their risk of aspiration (food and liquids going into the lungs instead of the stomach) and choking.
The assessment of swallowing function not only has applications to determine a post-operative patient’s swallowing status, but also has relevance in many other areas of medicine where swallowing impairment takes place. This includes acute stroke, as well as diseases such as Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), as well as other chronic neurological conditions.
While performing FEESST on patients, whether with chronic neurological diseases or post-operative patients recovering from head and neck cancer operations, Dr. Aviv noticed that their condition was often exacerbated by the swelling of their larynx due to acid reflux damage. By treating the acid reflux problem, Dr. Aviv found that their swallowing problems began to improve. Following my development of FEESST (1993), Dr. Aviv began to notice a dramatic increase in the overall number of patients who were experiencing acid reflux but went undiagnosed until he performed the FEESST procedure on them. As a result, FEESST became important in diagnosing severe cases of Throatburn Reflux (acid reflux with the patient complaining of throat symptoms such as cough, hoarseness, lump-like sensation in the throat, swallowing difficulty, and/or throat burning, wothout having heartburn), where swallowing and throat sensitivity had been drastically impaired.
Thus, a procedure that was originally intended to measure sensation in a person’s throat became a diagnostic tool to diagnose acid reflux disease.
FEESST was invented by Dr. Aviv in 1993, and has been used by otolaryngologists (ear, nose and throat doctors), pulmonologists (lung doctors), gastroenterologists (stomach and digestion doctors), intensivists (intensive care specialists) and speech-language pathologists for the past 20 years.
If you are a medical professional and would like to read about the proper way to administer a FEESST examination, please click here.
If you feel you are a candidate for a FEESST examination, please click here.