We compared the healing process, postoperative course, and follow-up of patients who underwent modified radical mastectomy in the conventional way with those who underwent a laser procedure. Sixty women, aged 33 to 77 years, who suffered from carcinoma of the breast were randomly divided into two groups: Group 1: surgery was performed using scalpel and electrosurgery; Group 2: surgery was performed with a CO 2 Sharplan laser, skin-to-skin including the axilla dissection; maximal power, 40-60 W. The postoperative course was uneventful in both groups. Wound healing was normal. Sutures were removed on the tenth day. Patients were followed at the Outpatient Clinic for 10 years. The circumference of the arm and forearm was measured at fixed points before surgery and at follow-up. Mammography and liver and bone scans were performed every year. Four Group 1 patients developed swelling and edema of 2 to 3 cm at 6 to 8 months after surgery. Also two patients from subgroup A developed local recurrence. No edema or swelling or local recurrence could be detected in patients operated by laser. Surgery with laser is preferable to the conventional approach.