an $n$-surgery on m dim manifold M is to cut out $S^n\times D^{m-n}$and replace it by $D^{n+1}\times S^{m-n-1}$. I want to know how this is invented? I do know that the effect of passing a critical point of index $n$ in $m$-manifold is equivalent to attach an $n+1$-handle $D^{n+1}\times D^{m-n-1}$.Now the boundary of $D^n\times D^{m-n}$ is $S^n\times D^{m-n}\cup D^{n+1}\times S^{m-n-1}$,i think there must be some close relation between the special form of $n$-surgery and handle.can someone help make this clear?