A videofluoroscopy is a moving x-ray image of your head and neck

VideofluorescopyTo view a PDF you may need to download Adobe Reader.

The X-ray video allows us to see what is happening in your mouth and throat when you eat, drink and swallow.

Why do you need a videofluoroscopy?

  • Food and drink might be going down the wrong way and getting into your airway without you feeling it. This is called silent aspiration.
  • During the test we can see if some food and fluid consistencies are easier for you to swallow.
  • We can check whether changing the position of your head or body helps you to swallow safely.
  • We can identify whether you would benefit from rehabilitation to improve your swallow safety.

What do you need to do?

  • Let us know if there is any possibility that you are pregnant.
  • Let us know if you have an allergy to the contrast material ((barium or omnipaque)
  • Let us know if you have any disabilities or special seating needs.
  • Bring your dentures with you if you wear them.
  • Bring any special cups or cutlery that you use.
  • We may ask you to take off earrings or necklaces as they can affect the X-ray image.

Where do you go?

  • The X-ray Department at Lincoln County Hospital or Boston Pilgrim Hospital (see appointment letter).
  • Go to the main hospital entrance.
  • Follow the signs to the X-ray department.

What happens during the test?

  • You will sit next to an X-ray camera.
  • A Speech and Language Therapist may give you something to eat and/or drink.
  • Food and drink has a special substance added (barium or omnipaque) so it can be seen on the X-ray.
  • The substance can make drink or food taste unusual.
  • This test does not involve any tubes and it will not hurt.
  • Your appointment will take about 45 minutes.

Are there any risks?

  • You will receive a small amount of radiation during the test. This radiation is carefully controlled and kept to a minimum.
  • There is a risk that a small amount of food and drink may enter your airway. If there are concerns regarding this the Speech and Language Therapist can alter the consistency or the assessment would be stopped.

When do I get results?

  • A Speech and Language Therapist and a Radiographer will look at the X-ray carefully during your appointment.
  • The therapist will talk to you about the X-ray and give you some advice about your eating and drinking.
  • The therapist will send you a report explaining the results of the test.

If you have any questions about your appointment please speak to your Speech and Language Therapist or telephone 01522 573069.

Radiology Appointments Centre

Lincoln County Hospital

Telephone: 01522 573069