The elastic modulus of rabbit nasal septal cartilage was measured during Nd:YAG laser (λ= 1.32 μm, 10 seconds, 21.22 W/cm2) radiation. Cyclical force versus displacement curves were generated in cantilevered specimens (9.5 mm x 3.0 mm x 1.0 mm) using a calibrated thin beam load cell and a single axis motorized micropositioner (velocity = 0.3 mm/sec). The laser and a thermopile were positioned above the secured specimen. Samples were irradiated three times with 30 second cooling intervals between each sequential laser exposure. Surface temperature reached a maximum of 65°C. Measurements were recorded before, during, and after each laser irradiation, and then following complete rehydration in normal saline (NS) for 1 hour at 25°C. Following each laser exposure, the sample was sprayed with normal saline delivered via an atomizer to prevent desiccation. Elastic modulus was calculated using a model assuming linear elastic behavior. The modulus in native tissue was 6.08 ± 0.17 Mpa, and this decreased during and after each successive laser exposure (5.41 ± 0.39 Mpa, 4.94 ± 0.46), (5.05 ± 0.104 Mpa, 4.17 ± 0.46 Mpa), (4.23 ± 0.53, 3.71 ± 0.60 Mpa), for the first, second, and third laser exposures, respectively. Following rehydration for one hour in normal saline, the modulus returned to near-baseline values (5.33 ± 0.40 Mpa). The results suggest that molecular changes that occur in the cartilage tissue matrix during laser cartilage reshaping are not accompanied by irreversible changes in the matrix modules.