PURPOSE: To compare the postoperative vertical drift in patients with thyroid eye disease (TED) with hypotropia who underwent vertical rectus recession alone versus recession combined with horizontal rectus recession. METHODS: The medical records of patients with TED who underwent strabismus surgery for hypotropia between 2006 and 2015 were reviewed retrospectively. Patients were divided into two groups: group 1 underwent vertical rectus recession only; group 2 underwent vertical rectus recession plus horizontal rectus recession. Data collection included pre- and postoperative deviation measurements and amount of surgical recession performed. The amount of postoperative vertical drift between groups was compared. RESULTS: Of 67 patients who underwent surgery during the study period, 18 met inclusion criteria, 9 in each group. Mean postoperative hypotropia was 24.2 in group 1 and 24.5 in group 2 (P = 0.82). Mean vertical deviations were 0.3 and -2.2 (P = 0.134) on postoperative day 1 -0.9 and -8.0 (P = 0.043) at final follow-up for groups 1 and 2. Mean postoperative vertical drift toward hypertropia was 1.2 in group 1 and 6.8 in group 2 (P = 0.048). The surgical success rate for group 1 was superior to that for group 2 (89% vs 67% [P = 0.024]). CONCLUSIONS: There was a significantly larger postoperative vertical drift in TED patients with hypotropia who had combined vertical rectus and horizontal rectus recessions compared with those who underwent vertical rectus recession alone.