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A modified barium swallow test checks the ability to swallow. It can also show if there is anything that can be done to make swallowing easier or safer.
It is a “live” X-ray that shows food and liquid as it is being swallowed. The images are viewed on a computer screen as the test is performed.
The test takes usually takes 20-30 minutes.
A speech-language pathologist or feeding specialist will perform the test.
The X-ray machine will show the food and liquid as it moves from the mouth to the stomach. The computer will video the exam. The speech-language pathologist will watch carefully and look for swallowing problems. If problems are noted, the speech-language pathologist will suggest ways to make eating safer and easier.
The speech-language pathologist usually shares results and recommendations after the test. Sometimes, the speech-language pathologist will consult with the patient’s oncologist or other members of the medical team before talking with the family.
Reviewed: June 2018