PURPOSE To describe a novel muscle recession technique to surgically correct small angle vertical deviations in symptomatic adults with fusion potential. METHODS A novel technique involving a graded recession of the medial and lateral poles of a vertical rectus muscle, combined with graded medial and lateral tenotomy of the muscle, was used to treat small vertical deviations. A surgical nomogram was developed based on the configuration of the procedure and its predicted effects. Four patients with small angle hypertropia ranging from 1 to 5 prism diopters (PD) underwent the graded marginal recession procedure and were observed for up to 3 years. RESULTS Three of the four patients had successful correction of their strabismus and resolution of diplopia, with no complications or induced incomitance. One patient was initially orthotropic but showed a 2 PD regression 1 month postoperatively, eventually requiring additional surgery to achieve stable orthotropia. CONCLUSIONS The graded marginal recession can be safely and effectively used to correct very small vertical deviations in adults with fusion potential. A surgical nomogram can be created to guide predicted corrections in increments of less than 0.5 PD.