An Investigation of the Post-laryngectomy Swallow Using Videofluoroscopy and Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES)
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This study investigates the post-laryngectomy swallow. Presence and degree of residue on the post-laryngectomy swallow as observed on videofluoroscopy and FEES is described. In addition, videofluoroscopy and FEES are assessed for reliability and inter-instrument agreement. 30 laryngectomy subjects underwent dysphagia evaluation using simultaneous videofluoroscopy and FEES. These were reviewed post-examination by three expert raters using a rating scale designed for this purpose. Raters were blinded to subject details, type of laryngectomy surgery, pairing of FEES and videofluoroscopy examinations and the scores of other raters. There was a finding of residue in 78% of videofluoroscopy ratings, and 83% of FEES ratings. Comparison of the tools indicated poor inter-rater reliability and poor inter-instrument agreement. Dysphagia is an issue post laryngectomy as measured by patient self-report and by instrumental evaluation. However, alternative dysphagia rating tools and dysphagia evaluation tools are required to enable accurate identification and intervention for underlying swallow physiology post laryngectomy.
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