1. Why do you use barium during a radiographic swallowing study?

Barium is used because it is radio-opaque, meaning that it can be visualized on an X-ray while plain food and liquid cannot be seen.

2. Does the barium taste bad?

No. We use flavored barium. For example, the pudding barium tastes like marshmallow fluff. We add food and liquid to the barium as well to further improve the taste.

3. Will the barium make me constipated?

Not typically, because our barium is made specifically NOT to stick to the tissue in your throat, esophagus or intestine. The barium we use is made to clear with each bite or sip.

4. How much radiation exposure will I receive during the test?

We monitor the amount of time that the X-ray equipment is on. Most exams use less than 5 minutes of fluoroscopy, which is the same amount of radiation you would receive during a chest X-ray.

5. How long does a video swallow test take?

The video swallow examination takes about 15 minutes. However, the entire evaluation takes about one hour, during which time we take a thorough history, perform the video swallow and then review the films with you, including a discussion of the examination results and any swallowing, feeding and/or dietary recommendations.

6. When will I know the results of the video swallow?

We review the films with you at the end of the test and show you exactly what happens when you eat and swallow. We will make a plan with you for the safest way for you to eat and drink to prevent aspiration (food or liquid from entering the lungs) and to maintain adequate nutrition. You will then follow up with your referring physician for further care, consultation and referrals to other specialists.

7. If my ENT just looked at my vocal folds why do I have to do this again?

We use the most advanced, state-of-the-art equipment and technology available, providing for enhanced magnification of the larynx and vocal folds. This allows us to make a more thorough diagnosis.

8. How many voice therapy appointments will I need?

Most patients require 8-10 visits for a complete course of care.