Swallowing Evaluations | Critical Services

Updated: Jul 6, 2020


Swallowing Evaluations | Critical Services

Bedside Swallowing Evaluation 


A clinical swallowing evaluation is a non-instrumental evaluation of your swallowing function. The clinician will ask a detailed history of your swallowing complaints. Then the clinician will complete an examination of the muscles of your face and throat. You will be given different types of foods and liquids to assess how the muscles of your face and throat are working together to swallow. Recommendations will be discussed with you at the time of the exam, and a report is sent to the referring physician.

Modified Barium Swallow


Modified Barium Swallow (MBS) is a fluoroscopic procedure designed to determine whether food or liquid is entering a person’s lungs, also known as aspiration. It permits the medical team to observe the coordination of anatomical structures in the mouth and throat, as they are actively functioning when chewing, drinking and swallowing. It also identifies the reason for aspiration.

Modified Barium Swallow (MBS)

Who is part of the MBS care team?


A speech pathologist administers materials (thin to thick liquid consistencies of Barium and solids as indicated) as the patient is seated upright in the lateral and anterior-posterior positions. A radiologist and radiology technician perform the fluoroscopy (a type of X-ray) to visualize the swallowing process.


What are frequent misconceptions about MBS?


Modified Barium Swallow (MBS) is frequently confused with a Barium Swallow. MBS is an analysis of swallowing through three phases: oral (mouth), pharyngeal (throat) and upper esophagus. A Barium Swallow, on the other hand, focuses on the propulsion of liquid through the esophagus and into the stomach. Differences between these procedures include: