Factor XII (FXII) deficiency is a congenital disorder inherited as an autosomal recessive condition. In his heterozygous form, it is relatively common in the general population. However, a total absence of FXII as seen in homozygous patients, is rare, with an incidence of approximately 1/1,000,000 individuals. Surprisingly, FXII deficiency is rather associated with thromboembolic complications. Patients do not experience a higher risk of surgical bleeding despite a markedly prolonged activated partial thromboplastin time. Given its low incidence in the general population, the finding of an unknown FXII deficiency is rare during cardiac surgery. This unique case describes a patient with an unanticipated prolonged baseline activated clotting time (ACT) during cardiac surgery in which his bleeding history and rotational thromboelastometry tracings lead us to the diagnosis of a FXII deficiency. The finding of a hypocoagulable INTEM tracing and a concurrent normal EXTEM tracing in a sample of a patient with prolonged ACT and adverse anamnestic bleeding history should prompt clinicians to consider a FXII deficiency. It may help clinicians in further perioperative management where there is not enough time to wait for the results of individual coagulation factor testing.