In 1978, Hughes Laboratories reported development of fiber optics that were capable of transmitting CO2 laser energy. These fibers are now being tested for medical applications. Wide ranging medical investigation with CO2 lasers has occurred during the twelve years since the first observations of laser hemostasis. Specialists in ophthalmology, neurosurgery, urology, gynecology, otolaryngology, maxillo-facial/plastic surgery, dermatology, and oncology among others, have explored its use. In principle, all these specialists use CO2 laser radiation at 10.6 microns to thermally destroy diseased tissues. As such, CO2 lasers compare and compete with electrosurgical devices. The fundamental difference between these modalities lies in how they generate heat in treated tissue.