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関口 has just woken up after surgery:

関口は自分が盲腸の手術をしたことを思い出した。

I'm sure I'm being dumb, but this reads to me like

Sekiguchi remembered doing the appendix operation himself.

I assume it's supposed to mean "Sekiguchi remembered having an appendix operation". What am I failing to understand here?

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    「関口は自分盲腸の手術をしたことを思い出した。」 なら "did the operation himself" という意味になると思います。 – naruto Nov 6 '16 at 14:08
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Your assumption is true. There are 2 points:

  1. 手術をする can mean 手術を受ける, that is, to have an operation.

  2. 自分が appears as the subject of the relative noun clause 自分が盲腸の手術をしたこと (the fact that he had an appendix operation). It can be translated to be, simply, "he" here.

You can think of this 自分 as "I". From 関口's view, the fact is "I underwent the operation." (自分は手術をした。) Making it a relative noun phrase, it becomes 自分が盲腸の手術をしたこと and now 自分 means "he" (= 関口).

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