J Korean Dysphagia Soc.  2012 Jan;2(1):1-7.

The Usefulness of Flexible Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing in Head and Neck Cancer Patients

  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Kangdong Sacred Heart Hospital, College of Medicine, Hallym University, Seoul, Korea


Dysphagia is an important symptom of head and neck cancer, as well as representing a significant complication of its treatment. Surgical interventions for cancers of the head and neck result in specific anatomic or neurologic insults with site-specific patterns of dysphagia and aspiration. Fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) is an imaging procedure that is generally well tolerated and therefore frequently repeatable to evaluate swallowing function. The FEES procedure allows for dynamic examination of the anatomy and physiology of pharyngeal and laryngeal structures at the level of the soft palate and below. It can be performed at the bedside like a usual clinical examination, and has a similar sensitivity and specificity for detecting signs of dysphagia. This article reviews the effect of the various treatment modalities in head and neck cancer on the swallowing mechanism, and the usefulness of FEES after head and neck cancer surgery.


Head and neck cancer; Surgery; Flexible endoscopie evaluation of swallowing
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