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Open Access Research article

Long-term outcomes of unilateral lateral rectus recession versus recess-resect for intermittent exotropia of 20-25 prism diopters

Hae Jin Kim, Dongwook Kim and Dong Gyu Choi*

Author Affiliations

Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, Hallym University, Kangnam Sacred Heart Hospital, Youngdeungpo-gu, Seoul, Korea

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BMC Ophthalmology 2014, 14:46  doi:10.1186/1471-2415-14-46

Published: 8 April 2014



The purpose of this study was to compare surgical outcomes of unilateral lateral rectus recession (ULR) and unilateral recess-resect (RR) for intermittent exotropia of 20-25 prism diopters (PD).


In this retrospective study, ULR was performed on 82 patients and RR on 98 patients for the treatment of intermittent exotropia of 20-25 PD with a follow-up period of 24 months or more. The main outcome measures were postoperative exodeviation angles and final success rates. A surgical success was considered to be an alignment within 10 PD.


The mean follow-up duration after the surgery was 53.8 ± 26.4 months in the ULR group and 52.5 ± 27.4 months in the RR group (p = 0.482). The mean deviation angles at postoperative 1 day were -0.49 PD (esodeviation) in the ULR group and -1.98 PD in the RR group. Subsequently, at postoperative 1 week, 1 and 3 months, the deviations became more exotropic in the ULR group than in the RR group (p < 0.05). However, the mean deviation angles at 6 months, 1 and 2 years and at the final follow-up did not significantly differ between the two groups. Surgical success at the final follow-up was achieved for 50 patients (60.9%) in the ULR group and 55 patients (56.1%) in the RR group (p = 0.511).


ULR is an effective surgical method for treatment of moderate-angle intermittent exotropia of 20-25 PD, showing results similar to those of RR.

Intermittent exotropia; Unilateral lateral rectus recession; Recess-resect; Moderate-angle exotropia