That Unexpected “Full Monty” Body Hair Shave

Looking back on my aortic valve replacement procedure, I remember several, distinct moments of physical and mental confusion. I might even consider that confusion as “dislocating” considering the process of having heart surgery is so foreign to regular, every-day life.

Sometimes, that dislocation evolved into fear (e.g. cardiac depression). At other times, that dislocation actually transformed into tremendous joy (e.g. taking my first shower after surgery).


One of my “dislocating moments” was entering the pre-operating room. I’ll never forget that final hug with my


family after the nurse called my name. I’ll never forget the nervous tremors in my hands as I pushed the door open.

I’ll never forget the sounds, the tubes, the blinking lights, the quick movements, and the gurneys rolling around the pre-operating room. And… Of course, I will never forget the worried looks that draped each patient face as I passed them one by one.

I could go on-and-on-and-on about the pre-operating room. However, this blog is not intended to replay the details of that experience. Instead, I am here to give you, the patient or caregiver, an expectation.

That expectation is tightly focused on… the surgical shave.

Yes. You may not know it yet. But, most patients will have a pretty good body shave right before surgery.

I knew nothing of the surgical shave when I entered the pre-operating room that morning. Therefore, I was definitely taken aback when the nurse began the time-consuming process of removing my chest hair, my pubic hair, my leg hair, and my toe hair.

Personally, I’m not a big fan of hair. But, at the same time, I have never had a “full-monty” body shave before. That said, it would have been nice to know that the surgical shave was going to happen.

I hope my little shaving story above helps you understand a tad more of what to expect as a patient. As I’ve said before, a heart valve replacement and heart valve repair surgery is not always fun. But, the short-term pain is worth the long-term gain! 🙂

Keep on tickin!

Adam Pick
Written by Adam Pick

Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of

To learn how Adam has helped millions of people with heart valve disease, watch Adam's video, subscribe to his free newsletter, or visit his Facebook, or Twitter pages.

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