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brain surgery

A task requiring extreme intelligence, skill, or competence, usually used in a negative or rhetorical manner to indicate the opposite. Just follow the directions as they're written—it isn't brain surgery.
See also: brain, surgery

meatball surgery

Battlefield surgery that is performed hastily so as to quickly stabilize a patient and prevent imminent death. Popularized (and possibly coined) by H. Richard Hornberger in his semi-autobiographical novel M*A*S*H, which focused on doctors serving in a fictional mobile army surgical hospital during the Korean War. Primarily heard in US. At the height of the conflict, our surgeons were primarily concerned with meatball surgery, getting wounded soldiers patched up long enough to receive more specialized treatment down the line.
See also: surgery

in surgery

to be involved in surgery. (Can refer to a doctor, nurse, or patients.) Dr. Smith is in surgery now. The patient is still in surgery.
See also: surgery
References in periodicals archive ?
If a person doesn't have adequate information and education about these surgeries and what is required of them to modify their behavior in order to have a successful outcome for the long term, the results may not be what they expect them to be.
He says he plans to complete the rest of the surgeries but doesn't know how he'll pay for them.
Repeated surgeries to improve the appearance of the breasts and/or to remove (explant) ruptured or deflated protheses may result in a dissatisfactory cosmetic outcome.