COPHy 2023 sets stage for evidence-based debates and discussions


Delegates will analyze the most relevant and controversial issues within the field of ophthalmology at this year’s congress in Lisbon, Portugal, from March 24 to 25.

COPHy 2023 sets stage for evidence-based debates and discussions
(Image courtesy ©TTstudio /

The annual Congress of Controversies in Ophthalmology (COPHy), co-chaired by Anat Loewenstein, MD, and Baruch Kuppermann, MD, is returning to an in-person format this year in Lisbon, Portugal, March 24 to 25. The venue is Lisbon’s Epic Sana Hotel.

COPHy will follow its previous theme and will be devoted to evidence-based debates and discussions among session moderators, speakers, and audience members, all of whom will examine and analyze the most relevant and controversial issues within the field of ophthalmology.

The main topics of the COPHy 2023 Congress are the controversies in medical retina, surgical retina, neuro-ophthalmology, and uveitis.

The aim of the Congress is to reach up-to-date recommendations to ongoing debates even when data remain limited, through evidence-based medicine, including expert opinion.

Participants will have the opportunity to take part in the discussion, which will facilitate discussions on the shared experiences and opinions of leading local and international experts, according to Drs. Loewenstein and Kuppermann, who are, respectively, Full Professor of Ophthalmology, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, and Sidney Fox Chair of Ophthalmology at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University, and the Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Tel Aviv Medical Center, Israel, and the Roger F. Steinert Professor, Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology, and Director of the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute at the University of California, Irvine.

Late registration runs until March 17 and onsite registration runs from March 18 to and including the conference dates. Visit for online registration.

Scientific program

Friday, March 24

All debates will be followed by a 10-minute discussion.

8:30-10:00 am

OPENING SESSION: Big Controversies in Retina in 2023 and includes the following topic.

Keynote Lecture: Translating discoveries at the molecular level to new therapies for eye diseases: The Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology Basel, delivered by Hendrik Scholl, MD

Debate 1 topic: In 5 years we will abandon clinical examination for telemedicine and AI assisted decisions. Yes: Ursula Schmidt-Erfurth; No: Manuel Falcão

Debate 2 topic: Complement inhibition is a game changer in the management of patients with geographic atrophy. Yes: Peter K. Kaiser; No: Ursula Schmidt-Erfurth.


MEDICAL RETINA 1: Neovascular (“Wet”) AMD Management

Debate 1 topic: Durability associated with multitarget therapies is superior to anti-VEGF mono-target therapy in AMD. Yes: Anat Loewenstein; No: Antonio Campos.

Debate 2 topic: Higher doses of existing intravitreal drugs can be beneficial in the management of nAMD. Yes: Peter K. Kaiser; No: Michaella Goldstein.

Debate 3 topic: Presence of macular neovascularization on OCTA is predictive of subsequent exudation. Yes: Angela Carneiro; No: Stephan Michels.


SURGICAL RETINA 1: Controversial Approaches to Common Surgical Questions

Debate 1 topic: Vitrectomy is safe and beneficial in the management of significant vitreous opacities. Yes: Francesco Boscia; No: William F. Mieler.

Debate 2 topic: In epiretinal membrane surgery, removal of the ILM is essential. Yes: João Figueira; No: Francesco Boscia.

Debate 3 topic: The preferred procedure for a large refractory macular hole is autologous retinal transplantation? Yes: Stanislao Rizzo; No: José Maria Ruiz-Moreno.


VISION ACADEMY IN RETINA 2023: Controversies in the Management of Intravitreal Therapy for Retinal Diseases

Debate 1 topic: Optimal application of anti-VEGFs: Do we need to reconsider our treatment paradigms? Bora Eldem and Robert Finger, Presentation of Viewpoint: Anat Loewenstein.

Debate 2 topic: Should we be concerned about IOP spikes after IVTs? Polona Jaki Mekjavic and Sobha Sivaprasad; Presentation of Viewpoint: Anat Loewenstein.

The presentations are followed by an industry-sponsored symposium and happy hour.

Saturday, March 25


MEDICAL RETINA 2: Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) and Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy

Debate 1 topic: Can biomarkers be used to determine if steroids vs antiVEGF agents are more appropriate to treat DME? Yes: Lilianne Duarte; No: Sobha Sivaprasad.

Debate 2 topic: Is treatment of NPDR with pharmacotherapy warranted at this time? Yes: Sobha Sivaprasad; No: José Cunha-Vaz.

Debate 3 topic: Multi target therapies is superior to anti-VEGF monotarget therapy in DME. Yes: Lilianne Duarte; No: Patricia Udaondo.


NEURO-OPHTHALMOLOGY 1: The Afferent Pathway

Debate 1 topic: Should all patients with thyroid eye disease be offered teprotumumab? Yes: Pedro Fonseca; No: Andrew G. Lee

Debate 2: Should patients with giant cell arteritis be offered tocilizumab? Yes: John Chen; No: Susan Mollan.

Case Presentations: Andrew G. Lee; Pedro Fonseca; Susan Mollan.


MEDICAL RETINA 3: AMD and Hereditary Retinal Degeneration Topics

Debate 1 topic: Retinal implant is still a future option for patients with hereditary retinal degeneration. Yes: William F. Mieler; No: Hendrik Scholl.

Debate 2: Home monitoring will be an important management option for our patients with AMD. Yes: Rufino Silva; No: Robert Finger.

Debate 3 topic: Suprachoroidal injection of a viral vector expressing an anti-VEGF protein is a viable treatment option for the management of retinal disease. Yes: Marco Dutra Medeiros; No: William F. Mieler



Debate 1 topic: Intravitreal corticosteroids for the treatment of uveitic macular edema is better (or similar) than systemic treatment. Yes: To be announced; No: Sarah Touhami.

Debate 2 topic: Vitrectomy should be performed in patients with ARN syndrome. Yes: Sarah Touhami; No: Luis Figueira.

Debate 3 topic: Systemic antibiotic treatment is mandatory for ocular toxoplasmosis. Yes: To be announced; No: Zohar Habot-Wilner.


SURGICAL RETINA 2: Controversies in the Utilization of Cutting Edge Vitreoretinal Surgical Technology

Debate 1 topic: Digital, heads up imaging in the operating room has led to improvement in surgical outcomes Yes: Angelina Meireles; No: José Maria Ruiz-Moreno.

Debate 2 topic: Surgical intraoperative OCT is practical in VR surgery Yes: Carlos Marques Neves; No: Angelina Meireles.

Debate 3 topic: Early surgery in myopic maculopathy versus delayed surgery. Yes: Jorge Ruiz-Medrano; No: Stratos Gotzaridis.


NEURO-OPHTHALMOLOGY 2: The Efferent Pathway and Systemic Disorders

Debate 1 topic: Patients with NMO be offered eculizumab? Yes: John Chen; No: Susan Mollan.

Debate 2 topic: All patients with optic neuritis should have both NMO and MOG testing? Yes: Pedro Fonseca; No: Andrew G. Lee.

Case Presentations: Andrew G. Lee; Susan Mollan; Pedro Fonseca.


MEDICAL RETINA 4: New Treatment Strategies

Debate 1 topic: Biosimilars will become the primary treatment option for retinal diseases. Yes: Ashish Sharma; No: Paolo Lanzetta.

Debate 2 topic: Continuous delivery with the Port Delivery System will be is an important treatment option for patients with nAMD. Yes: Rita Flores; No: Patricia Udaondo.

Debate 3 topic: Sub-retinal viral vector gene therapy delivery of anti-VEGF is a viable management option for the management of retinal disease. Yes: João Figueira; No: Paolo Lanzetta.



Debate 1 topic: Vogt Koyanagi Harada: Immunomodulatory treatment should be started at the first manifestation of VKH alongside with systemic corticosteroids. Yes: Ines Leal; No: Bahram Bodaghi.

Debate 2: Cataract surgery in JIA-uveitis: leaving the child aphakic. Yes: Ines Leal; No: Bahram Bodaghi.

Debate 3 topic: Intraocular corticosteroids may be used for infectious uveitis. Yes: Luis Figueira; No: Zohar Habot-Wilner.

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