A 42-year-old-women with sigmoid colon adenocarcinoma was found to have isolated prolonged activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT 102.5 s, normal range 24-36 s) preoperatively. Her medical history included an episode of prolonged postdelivery uterine bleeding 16 years previously. A mixed aPTT test showed immediate correction of the prolonged aPTT, indicating a coagulation factor deficiency in the intrinsic pathway. Factor assays showed factor XI was below 1% of average normal value whereas factor VIII, IX and XII activities were normal. Family screening revealed one sister among the three siblings also had isolated prolonged aPTT. The patient was transfused with four units (5mL/kg) of fresh frozen plasma the day before surgery, then with two units during surgery. The operation was uneventful with no bleeding problems. The patient recovered smoothly and is currently undergoing adjuvant chemotherapy. This is the first formal report of a patient with factor XI deficiency undergoing major surgery in Taiwan. Careful monitoring of aPTT, with fresh frozen plasma transfusion, when needed, may safely overcome bleeding problems during surgery.