PURPOSE: To evaluate the surgical success and need for adjustment due to overcorrection in patients who undergo inferior oblique myectomy (IOM) combined with lateral rectus recession (LRc) for intermittent exotropia in the setting of inferior oblique overaction. METHODS: A retrospective chart review was conducted of patients with intermittent exotropia who underwent LRc using adjustable sutures alone versus LRc combined with IOM between January 2010 and July 2018 at our institution. Binocular alignment was recorded before and within one week of surgery. Evaluation measures noted were surgical success (defined as distance alignment of ⩽10 prism diopters) and need for postoperative adjustment due to overcorrection. RESULTS: Of 48 patients, 24 underwent LRc alone and 24 underwent LRc combined with IOM; all 48 patients had adjustable sutures. Surgical success was significantly higher in the LRc alone group (91.6%) compared with the LRc with IOM group (62.5%) ( = 0.036). The need for postoperative adjustment due to overcorrection was also significantly higher in the LRc with IOM group (20.8%) compared with the LRc alone group (0%) ( = 0.049). CONCLUSIONS: In this study, more patients needed adjustment for overcorrection after undergoing LRc combined with IOM versus LRc alone. Since the tertiary action of the inferior oblique is abduction it is possible that, in patients with inferior oblique overaction, surgically weakening the inferior oblique causes more esodeviation and overcorrection. Thus, surgical correction of exotropia and inferior oblique overaction using LRc combined with IOM may lead to overcorrection and increased need for postoperative adjustment.