Videofluoroscopic Swallow Study AKA Modified Barium Swallow Study

Updated on May 24, 2011
J.W. asks from Denton, TX
3 answers

My 4 and 2 year old daughters will have a Videofluoroscopic swallow study done on July 11. Just wondering what to expect. They will be having it done at Cook Children’s Northeast Hospital in Hurst. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

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answers from Allentown on

I've only ever had them done with infants, so I don't know how many, if any, differences there will be with older kids.

For us, they drank from a bottle filled with barium while laying under a giant scanner. The size of the machine has the potential to freak an older child out, so you may want to talk about that in advance, but it doesn't touch them at all. There's a video screen that shows the barium making its way through the system, which they may or may not be in a position to watch, themselves. If they are, it's pretty cool!

You will be asked to wear a full apron and thyroid cover, so that's another thing you might want to talk to them about, since it can look awfully weird!

Hope that helps!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Madison on

We had this done when my son was about 1 year old. They told me to bring a few food items that he liked, so they added the barium to them. They did both liquid swallow and with the solid foods I brought.

Even though he was really young, it helped to talk with him and explain what would happen. Especially take a few moments just before they do something, calmly look them in the eye and in simple plain words say what will happen next ("now you will eat a piece of this, and we will see how it goes to your stomach from this screen" kind of thing). It helps a lot to calm them down.

You see the food being swallowed and go to the stomach in real time, on a screen in black and white (looks like an x-ray film).

Nothing to worry about!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I work in the nicu at Baylor in Ft Worth, and this is how we do it. The kiddos get sat in what looks kinda like a car seat next to big scanner with a monitor to view the results. They feed the kids barium liquid of varying thickness to see on the monitor how it is going down, or refluxing up. You will have to wear a lead apron and thyroid shield to protect you from radiation. The lighting in the room might be kinda dim, so that they can see the monitor better. There is usually a speech therapist, a radiologist, and an x-ray tech in the room. They can usually tell you preliminary results right there, then a formal report will be written up and sent to the child's drs.

Good luck, and don't stress! It'll be fine and hopefully the results will give you some answers. :)

1 mom found this helpful

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