operate on/ operate


Which is correct
1-The doctor operated his appendix.
2-The doctor operated on his appendix.

I know that one says 'operate on somebddy' and not 'operate somebody'. But I don't know how to use the verb with a body part.
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    Senior Member
    American English
    On is correct here. Either it's a heart operation or an appendix operation (where heart and appendix are adjectives), or it's operated on his heart, operated on his appendix.


    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Ordinarily you would not operate on an appendix; you would operate on the patient and remove the appendix. It is not usually repairable.

    Operate on suggests that a repair or correction is being made to that body part. So operate on a heart is OK, but you remove defective appendixes, you don't repair them.
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