FOR the past 30 years Pam Mason, left, has been battling an almost constant migraine.

The pain is so bad she is forced to stay in bed for days, with bouts of sickness lasting for up to 48 hours.

But she has been denied a treatment she believes could be the last chance for her to have a normal life.

NHS Oxfordshire has told Mrs Mason she will not be funded for a £3,000 operation which will literally stop her from frowning, and could be the cure she is looking for.

Migraine surgery works by removing the migraine triggering muscle, while at the same time relaxing and eradicating ‘frown lines’.

Mrs Mason, 46, of Long Hanborough, near Witney, first started to suffer with migraines when she was 13.

The mother-of-two said: “In the early years I would have a migraine once or twice a month.

“In those days no medication would help so I’d go to bed with a pain so hideous I wanted to gouge behind my eye to try to stop it.

“I would be vomiting for 24 to 48 hours on each occasion.

“Sometimes I feel absolutely worn out, depressed and wanting to shrivel up in a corner. Other days are almost euphoric because I have not got a migraine. I rush around all day trying to get things done, make sure I get to an evening dance class, then come down with a huge bump once again.”

After being prescribed drugs for heart conditions, antidepressants and epilepsy drugs, in the hope the side-effects might offer some relief, Mrs Mason was given triptans, a drug used to relieve migraine attacks and cluster headaches.

She said: “These made such a difference to the way my migraines behaved which at the time I thought was wonderful.

“But eventually they leave you feeling lethargic and muddled and, in my case, gave me very bad acid reflux which can be very painful as I have a serious stomach condition.”

Since October Mrs Mason has been seeing a private surgeon who has been giving her botox treatments for the pain.

The injections work by paralysing the muscles in the neck and forehead that set off the condition.

But at £350 a time, Mrs Mason was hoping for a permanent solution and so asked NHS Oxfordshire to pay for the migraine surgery.

She was refused the treatment last week because it was not deemed ‘cost-effective’.

Mrs Mason has estimated, due to the frequency of her migraine attacks, she is costing the NHS about £800 a year for the triptan drugs alone.

She said the operation was available in several other European countries and now she is campaigning for it to be available in the UK.

She said: “The migraine surgery would cost my local PCT approximately £3,000 in total and I would have to have it done in Germany.

“Compare this to a good month of medication, 12 triptan tablets, countless other painkillers, and acid reflux medications, I am prescribed.

“You don’t have to be a genius to know which is the most cost-effective in the long run. There must be thousands of other people out there who are also suffering in silence.

“Paying for this treatment would save the NHS so much money. I know it might not work for everyone,but it has to be worth a go.”

A spokesman for NHS Oxfordshire said: “This surgery is not available on the NHS, as the evidence of its effectiveness is limited.

“While the treatment appears to show promise in some patients, the published evidence is well short of the standard necessary.”