The inferior turbinates of 140 patients with perennial allergic rhinitis were vaporized by a defocused carbon dioxide (CO2) laser beam, using specially designed handpieces. Among these patients, 131 showed improvement in subjective symptoms one month after laser surgery. Excellent or good results were obtained in 27 of 35 patients who were followed up more than one year after laser surgery. The histopathologic changes observed in the nasal mucous membrane after surgery were fibrous proliferation and scar formation in the superficial layer of the submucosa. This surgery can be done under surface anesthesia as an outpatient procedure, and it is painless, with no bleeding.