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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 September, 2004, 05:19 GMT 06:19 UK
'Permanent migraine' cured by op
Patricia Eastman
A pioneering operation cured Patricia Eastman of her migraine
A woman has undergone pioneering surgery to cure a permanent migraine.

Patricia Eastman, from Weston-super-Mare, used to have permanent pain and even the strongest pain killers proved ineffective.

Her condition was diagnosed as hemicrania continua while she was working as a nurse at Weston Hospital.

During an operation in London wires were connected from her brain to a pacemaker-type device which sent electrical pulses to stop the pain.

The operation cost 17,000. It took a year-and-a-half to get the funding from the North Somerset Primary Care Trust.

'Split second'

They say the delay was because they had to check if the experimental surgery could be carried out locally.

Mrs Eastman was eventually sent to the National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery for the treatment.

She says the procedure was a total success: "Sometimes I feel as if pain is due to start, but in a split second it goes.

"I haven't been in pain since the implant was turned on, and that was three weeks ago."

Mrs Eastman controls the intensity of the electrical pulses using a small remote control.

The BBC's Matthew Hill reports
"This is the first time this delicate surgery has been shown on TV"

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