The Estes operation (transposition of one ovary to the uterine cavity): Its results in the rabbit model

  • M. Coppo
  • P. McComb


Pregnancies have been reported after the Estes procedare (EP). These results have not been duplicated in nodern attempts. The recent report of intrauterine fertilization in humans gives support to the feasibility of this procedure as a possible alternative to in vitro fertilization. An animal model is needed to evaluate the outcome of this operation. Consequently, 14 mature New Zealand white rabbits had one ovary placed in the uterine cavity after contralateral oophorectomy and bilateral salpingectomy. One month later, the animals were mated with a fertile buck. Fourteen to 16 days after that, the outcome was evaluated. Twenty-five to 75% of the ovarian surface was exposed to the uterine lumen, and no evidence of ovulation or implantation was found. The lack of pregnancies was attributed to an ovulatory dysfunction. Anovulation after the EP may also occur in the clinical sitvation, as suggested by one histologic study. The ovalatory function of these patients has not been characterized in the literature. Documentation of a successful intrauterine fertilization with delivery of term baby supports the theoretical feasibility of the EP; howver, anovulation incurred by our procedure appears to be the major drawback.

Key Words

Estes procedure ovary transposition 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Estes WL Jr. Ovarian implantation. Surg Gynecol Obstet 1924;38:394Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Tuffier T: Transposition of the ovary with its vascular pedicle into the uterus after salpingectomy. Surg Gynecol Obstet 1924;39:401Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ikle FA: Schwangerschaft mach Implantation des Ovars in den Uterus. Gynaecologia 1961;151:95Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Adams CE: Consequences of accelerated ovum transport, including a re-evaluation of Estes operation. J Reprod Fert 1979;55:239Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Estes WL Jr, Heitmeyer PL: Incidence of pregnancy following ovarian implantation. Am J Surg 1934;24:563Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Trounson A, Wood, C: Extracorporeal fertilization and embryo transfer. Clin Obstet Gynecol 1981;8:681Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Wood C: Ovarian transplantation. Aust NZ J Obstet Gynaecol 1981;21:107Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Craft I, McLeod F, Green S, Djahanbakhch O, Bermard A, Twigg H, Smith W, Lindsay H, Edmonds K: Human pregnancy following oocyte and sperm transfer to the uterus. Lancet 1982;1:1031Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Beyth Y, Polishuk WZ: Ovarian implantation into the uterus (Estes operation): Clinical and experimental evaluation. Fertil Steril 1979;32:657Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Satoh K, Kawai Y, Mitsuhashi N, Kinoshita K, Sakamoto S: Prostaglandin F metabolites in plasma and urine during pseudopregnancy in the rabbit. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1980;138:748Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Parkes AS: Induction of superovulation and superfecundation in rabbits. J Endocrinol 1943;3:268Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Fox RR, Krinsky WL: Ovulation in the rabbit related to dosage of human chorionic gonadotropin and pregnant mare's serum. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 1968;127:1222Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Spilman CH, Wilks JW: Peripheral plasma progesterone during egg transport in the rabbit. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 1976;151:726Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Halme J, Rong ZJ, Wing R, Raj MHG, Raj S: The removal of fallopian tubes has no adverse effect on subsequent ovarian function in rabbits. Fertil Steril 1982;38:621Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    McComb P, Delbeke L: Surgical division of the blood vessels between the fallopian tube and the ovary decreases the number of ovulations in the rabbit. J Reprod Med (in press)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Sun FF, Chapman JP, McGuire JC: Metabolism of prostaglandin endoperoxide in animal tissues. Prostaglandins 1977;14:1055Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Poyser NL, Phillips CA: Gonadal function. Nato Advanced Study Institutes Series, Series A, Vol 36: New York, Plenum Press, 1981, p 301Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Bloch MH, Needleman P: Prostaglandin (PG) synthetic capacity of the pregnant and non-pregnant rabbit uterus. Fed Proc 1981;40:661 (abstr 2467)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Grinwich DL, Kennedy TG, Armstrong DT: Dissociation of ovulatory and steroidogenic actions of luteinizing hormone in rabbits with indomethacin, an inhibitor of prostaglandin biosynthesis. Prostaglandins 1972;1:89Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Armstrong DT, Moon YS, Zamecnik J: Evidence for a role of ovarian prostaglandins in ovulationIn Gonadotropins and Gonadal Function. New York, Academic Press, 1974 p. 345Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Jacobson HI, Bullock DW, Keyes PL: Effect of prostaglandin F on estrogen receptor in corpus luteum and uterus. IV Int Congr Endocrinol Abstr 472, 1972Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Koering MJ: Luteolysis in normal and prostaglandin F-treated pseudopregnant rabbits. J Reprod Fertil 1974;40:259Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Virutamasen P, Wright KH, Wallach EE: Effects of prostaglandins E2 and F on ovarian contractility in the rabbit. Fertil Steril 1972;23:675Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Hamada Y, Bronson R, Wright KH, Wallach E: Ovulation in the perfused rabbit ovary: The influence of prostaglandins and prostaglandin inhibitors. Biol Reprod 1977;17:58Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Kobayashi Y, Santulli R, Wright KH, Wallach EE: Induction of ovulation in vitro by prostaglandin F. Biol Reprod 1980;22(Suppl 1):113A(abstr 186)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Kobayashi Y, Santulli R, Wright KH, Wallach EE: The effect of prostaglandin synthesis inhibition by indomethacin on ovulation and ovum maturation in the in vitro perfused rabbit ovary. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1981;141:53Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Craft I, McLeod F, Green S, Djahanbakhch O, Bernard A, Twigg H, Smith W: Birth following oocyte and sperm transfer to the uterus. Lancet 1982;2:773Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Coppo
    • 1
  • P. McComb
  1. 1.Division of Endocrinology and Infertility, Department of Obstetrics & GymaccologyUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

Personalised recommendations