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Procedure - MBSS

To properly diagnose swallowing disorders, speech and language pathologist at Ogden Clinic in Utah use a modified barium swallow study (MBSS). Similar to other swallowing examinations, patients are observed as they swallow food. During the MBSS procedure, patients are positioned in front of a fluoroscopy X-ray machine and their food is coated with barium. Barium is a white, chalky powder that has a milkshake-like consistency when mixed with water. It is helpful in diagnosing swallowing disorders, as it shows up white on an X-ray, allowing the doctor to better understand the problem.

An MBSS test examines the upper gastrointestinal tract, including the pharynx, back of throat, and the esophagus. It can be given as its own test or combined with other upper gastrointestinal tests that examine the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. Your doctor may recommend a MBSS if you are experiencing problems swallowing, including pain and discomfort. The MBSS will help your doctor determine the cause of these problems, which can include:

  • Tumors
  • Cancers of the esophagus, pharynx, neck, or head
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Polyps
  • Enlarged veins in the esophagus
  • Muscle disorders like dysphagia or spasms
  • Achalasia
  • Ulcers
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease

The MBSS is an outpatient procedure at Ogden Clinic, but it can also be performed during a hospital stay. During the procedure, you will be positioned on an X-ray table and asked to swallow a barium pill, barium drink, or food coated with barium. As you swallow, the doctor will take X-rays to observe how the substance moves through pharynx and esophagus. Throughout the MBSS, you may be asked to lie in different positions (on your back, side, etc.) and hold your breath for short intervals of time. Following the procedure, you can return to your normal routine and diet. The doctor will analyze your X-rays and determine the source of your swallowing problems and recommend treatment from there.

Do have problems swallowing? If so, you may be a good candidate for a modified barium swallow study (MBSS) at Ogden Clinic in Utah. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.