Infrared (IR) fibers are an intriguing and potentially important component of future surgical laser systems, allowing the development of less invasive procedures in a variety of medical specialties. Although a decade-long technological development by numerous laboratories around the world of surgical grade fibers is now reaching completion, we must carefully re-examine the business aspects of this market to determine the range of applications which can be profitable, based on the assumed fiber cost. Many of the higher-volume applications will only be penetrated if the fiber cost is low (with the fiber/catheter being a disposable). A simple analysis shows that the total quantity of IR fibers required for all potential laser procedures currently identified is of the order 1,000 kilometers per year; this is a small volume of fiber, especially compared to the amount required in the telecommunications industry. It is possible that a few large (500 Km/yr or more) applications will be developed using IR fibers; such applications, however, are generally cost sensitive, and will be subject to competition from alternative technologies. While the technological and clinical potential of surgical IR fibers remains exciting, the total OEM surgical market for IR fiber will probably be of the order $3-5 million per year, and will not exceed $20-30 million per year for the next 5-10 years, even given the most optimistic projections for the adoption of IR fibers in surgical applications.