Services at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix  

Swallowing Disorders


Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix 
Rehabilitation Institute
1012 E. Willetta
Phoenix, AZ 85006
(602) 839-2317

Lady swallowing pill
Difficulty swallowing is a medical diagnosis called dysphagia (dis-fay-ja). This can occur at any age and may be due to:

  • stroke—especially brain stem strokes
  • head or neck trauma
  • recent history of endotracheal intubation
  • infectious disease or allergic reaction.

Dysphagia may be life threatening because it can led to obstruction of your airway. Other symptoms associated with dysphagia include weight loss, dehydration, malnutrition, failure to thrive or social withdrawal.

Do you?

  • Cough/choke when you eat?
  • Cough when drinking liquids?
  • Feel like something is stuck in your throat?

If you answer yes to any of these questions you may benefit from a swallowing study. At Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix, our Speech Language Pathologists are trained to assess dysphagia using two types of tests:

  • Modified Barium Swallow (MBS) study: Considered the gold standard to assess dysphagia in patients, this test is a video X-ray of your swallowing.

Your speech pathologist directs the order and sequence of food and liquid trials given during the exam.The radiologist operates the fluoroscopy equipment, verifies the presence or absence of aspiration, and often discusses the swallow study with the speech pathologist.

  • Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES).This is performed by specially trained speech pathologists. This test allows the speech language pathologist to examine tissue integrity, muscular function and laryngeal/pharyngeal secretions with increased acuity. 

FEES is also used as a therapy tool for training a person with dysphagia to use swallowing strategies that reduce aspiration risk and providing feedback to both the individual with dysphagia and their caregivers. The patient is evaluated in a comfortable seating position.

How do I schedule a test?
Your physician’s office must submit a written prescription documenting the procedure and the diagnosis.

The physician’s office may also need to obtain insurance authorization for patients. 

Prescription and authorization for MBS need to be faxed to (480) 684-7501.

Prescription and authorization for FEES need to be faxed to (602) 839-6200.

Once we receive your prescription, our scheduling staff will contact you to make an appointment.

For more information on scheduling the MBS procedure, call (480) 684-7500.

For more information on FEES, call (602) 839-2317.

Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix
1111 E. McDowell Road
Phoenix, AZ 85006
(602) 839-2000
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