The rich information about surgical procedures contained in operative notes is a valuable data source for improving the clinical evidence base and clinical research. In this study, we propose a set of Predicate Argument Structure (PAS) frames for surgical action verbs to assist in the creation of an information extraction (IE) system to automatically extract details about the techniques, equipment, and operative steps from operative notes. We created PropBank style PAS frames for the 30 top surgical action verbs based on examination of randomly selected sample sentences from 3,000 Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy notes. To assess completeness of the PAS frames to represent usage of same action verbs, we evaluated the PAS frames created on sample sentences from operative notes of 6 other gastrointestinal surgical procedures. Our results showed that the PAS frames created with one type of surgery can successfully denote the usage of the same verbs in operative notes of broader surgical categories.