Purpose: To characterize and compare patient-reported recovery of function after cataract or glaucoma surgery using a novel visual analog scale. Design: Prospective observational cohort study. Methods: Daily for 2 weeks and weekly thereafter, patients recovering from trabeculectomy, tube shunt implantation, or cataract extraction (CE) completed a diary-style questionnaire including visual analog scales (VASs; scored 0-100) grading pain and global function. Clinical examination data and medical histories were collected. Generalized estimating equation models evaluated associations between VAS function scores and pain or visual acuity (VA) and compared scores between surgery types. Results: Among 51 participants followed for 12 weeks, tube shunt placement reduced postoperative day 1 (POD1) function by 47 of 100 points vs CE (P = .006), while trabeculectomy did not reduce POD1 function vs CE (P = .33). After CE, trabeculectomy, and tube shunt placement, average VAS function scores increased 13.94 per week for 2 weeks (P < .001), 4.18 per week for 4 weeks (P = .02), and 7.76 per week for 7 weeks (P < .001), respectively. After those timepoints, there was no further significant change. Beyond 2 weeks, pain levels plateaued, and VA returned to baseline across surgery types; function was inversely related to pain or VA only for the first 2 or 4 weeks, respectively. Conclusions: Patients recovering from cataract and glaucoma surgery report reduced function in the postoperative period. Tube shunt implantation causes greater morbidity than trabeculectomy, and both are associated with slower improvement than CE. Early postoperative function is associated with VA and pain, but neither fully explains reported impairment. A VAS for function may efficiently capture postoperative recovery.
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