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Acta Otorhinolaryngol Ital. 2008 Aug;28(4):206-11.

Fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES): proposal for informed consent.

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Chair of Audiology and Phoniatrics, Department of Neurosciences, Pisa University, Italy.


Fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) is now a first choice method for studying swallowing disorders on account of the various advantages it offers: easy to use, very well tolerated, allows bedside examination and is economic. Nevertheless, this diagnostic procedure is not without risks, the most probable consequences of which include discomfort, gagging and/or vomiting, vasovagal syncope, epistaxis, mucosal perforation, adverse reactions to topical anaesthetics and laryngospasm. The risks involved with FEES stress the importance of informing the patient of these; this is an important aspect in medicine that necessarily and immediately implies receiving the patient's so-called "informed consent". Informed consent should be obtained not only by means of specific printed forms but also after the patient has had an interview with the physician who will be performing the procedure and who will offer information according to the personal clinical, psychological, cultural and linguistic situation of the patient and in keeping with the type of procedure proposed. In the case of FEES, as with other invasive or non-invasive diagnostic procedures, therefore, routine written and signed consent, together with a patient/physician interview should fulfil what is known as "complete information". In this report, a specific form for informed consent to FEES procedures, is proposed.

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