In the late 1970's and in the 1980's, Michael Freedman showed a relationship between the topological surgery problem in 4dimensions, the slice problem for links, and the classification of nonsimplyconnected 4manifolds. He also showed the failure of 4dimensional homology surgery and the homology splitting theorem via a construction I don't really follow (because I haven't read and don't know the original reference, for one thing). I know of these results vaguely but do not understand them (certainly not the proofs). In particular, I don't know the "canonical" references, and MathSciNet doesn't seem to be helping me. They look like basic results in 4manifold topology, which should surely be standard. Is there a survey paper on this stuff, or is it in some book? What is the best reference?
I should know this (or look it up myself), but perhaps it is more useful to post it here, because perhaps I am not alone in my confusion.
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I would recommend you to look at the reference FreedmanQuinn book Topology of 4manifolds , it might be helpful. 

