The procedure was carried out at 4:00 p.m. as outlined below.
In my case, the local anesthesia wore off in about three hours and my throat (toward the back of my mouth) began to hurt, especially upon swallowing, so much so that I took two Advil® ibuprofen to relieve it. I would describe that pain on a scale of 1-10 as a five. An hour later the pain receded. Just before going to sleep I took one Darvocet® non-narcotic analgesic.
My snoring was so loud that I awakened myself -- something that my wife usually does for me. But this time she was away. I slept on pillows with my head raised 45 degrees. I had worn an anti-snoring device before the procedure, so I put that back in my mouth and it helped. I awoke with no pain and continued taking my antibiotic and steroid medicines. I was more aware of some difficulty, but only mildly uncomfortable, swallowing during the day.
Dr. Arick and a nurse will check see that patients are comfortable and prepared to have the somnoplasty procedure. Dr. Arick will establish his method of allowing you to signal him that you are comfortable during the procedure. The nurse assistant prepares the standard settings on the somnoplasty machine for the delivery of the proper energy and temperature to the soft tissue of the palate, which is about the size of a large bread box. She attaches your new sterile hand piece (energy-delivering apparatus) to the machine, and then attaches electrical grounding tape to the skin on your lower back. The doctor or nurse then gently sprays the back of mouth with topical anesthetic to prevent or minimize the discomfort of the anesthetic injections you'll receive.
The doctor will use a special bending tool to shape the power delivery tip on the handpiece to the exact shape of your palate. Dr Arick tests the anesthesia, and then painlessly inserts the tip of the handpiece into the middle of the soft palate, going up to and slightly into the uvula delivering a painless stimulus to the tissues for about one minute. Finally, the doctor will painlessly withdraw the tip from your mouth.
He does the same on the right and left side of the soft palate. The somnoplasty procedure is now completed. The nurse will remove the electrical grounding tape from the back and check to see if the patient is comfortable. You will leave the office about 45 minutes after arriving.