Fluoroswallow (previously Videofluoroscopy)

Sometimes more information about swallowing problems is needed and patients may be referred for an X Ray swallowing test which is done in the radiology, or x-ray, department.

Different names for this test are: fluoroswallow, videofluoroscopic (VFS) swallowing study, videofluoroscopy or VFS, modified barium swallow, or MBS

The fluoroswallow lets us see:

  • if food is going into your airway instead of your stomach, called aspiration 
  • which parts of your mouth and throat may not be working well 
  • what kinds of food are safest for you to swallow 
  • if certain positions or strategies help you swallow better 

You should not have this test done if you think you may be pregnant because it is not safe to have x-rays while pregnant.

Information for GPs - How to make a referral for Fluoroswallow

Community referrals for Fluoroswallow (was Videofluoroscopy)

  • A GP (or consultant) requiring a fluoroswallow evaluation (FS) will need to refer to Community Speech and Language Therapy Services for a clinical assessment of swallowing.
  • After assessing the patient, the Community SLT will discuss the rationale for FS with a senior SLT at Derriford (01752 432202); and if suitable complete an SLT FS referral form.
  • The SLT referral form can be emailed to: plh-tr.VFSReferralsSLT@nhs.net
  • After the SLT have assessed, the GP will be asked to request the fluoroswallow electronically via ICE, naming the treating SLT and giving clear clinical reasons for the FS.
  • The Derriford FS team will email this information to X-Ray West Bookings Team contactable on plh-tr.fluoroscopybookingsadmin@nhs.net
  • X-Ray will liaise with both the patient and the referring SLT.
  • An appointment will then be sent to patient by X Ray West.
  • A detailed report will be returned to the GP / referrer.

Fluoroswallow referral form for Community Speech and Language Therapists

Fluoroswallow Referral Form 25.7.2023.docx [docx] 34KB


Patient Information Leaflet

Download our patient information leaflet "A patient's guide to Fluoroswallow"

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