Unilateral lateral rectus recession is an effective surgery for intermittent exotropia in young children

Oriel Spierer, Abraham Spierer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Different surgical methods have been suggested for the correction of intermittent exotropia. Unilateral lateral rectus recession has been described as a surgical alternative for small and moderate-angle exotropia. In general, previous studies did not focus on the outcomes of unilateral lateral rectus recession in young children with intermittent exotropia. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the surgical outcomes of unilateral lateral rectus recession in the treatment of moderate-angle exotropia (≤ 25 PD (prism diopters)) in children. Methods: The charts of all patients younger than 12 years of age with moderate-angle exotropia (up to 25 PD) who were operated during the years 2006–2018 were retrospectively reviewed. Fifty-eight patients underwent unilateral lateral rectus recession and had a minimum follow up of 6 months. The angle of exotropia (PD) before and after surgery and the success rate were documented. Results: Mean age at surgery was 6.4 ± 1.9 (range 3.5–11.0) years. Exotropia improved from a preoperative angle of 21.4 ± 4.0 PD to 3.5 ± 5.9 PD postoperatively (p < 0.001). Success rate, defined as deviation of ≤ 10 PD, was achieved in 86.2%. There were 2 (3.4%) cases of overcorrection (consecutive esotropia). There were no intra- or postoperative complications. The mean follow-up duration after surgery was 2.3 ± 1.7 years. Conclusions: In children with moderate angle exotropia, good postoperative success rate was achieved by performing unilateral lateral rectus recession.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10
JournalBMC Ophthalmology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Exotropia
  • Moderate‐angle exotropia
  • Pediatric ophthalmology
  • Strabismus
  • Unilateral lateral rectus recession


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