The clinical application of the CO2 laser for skin surgery has traditionally been plagued with a number of inherent disadvantages. These problems mainly consist of variable depth of penetration, dermal charring with thermal build-up, and a slow surgical technique. This has severely limited the success and usefulness of the laser in aesthetic plastic surgery. An optomechanical flashscanner unit-`SwiftlaseTM', was coupled to a continuous-wave CO2 laser and used during numerous plastic surgical procedures--both reconstructive and purely aesthetic. The instrument uses two rotating mirrors to cause a vaporizing laser beam to scan across target biological tissue in a somewhat sinusoidal array, thus modulating the CO2 laser. Another flashscanner unit, `SilktouchTM' was also utilized. The scanning pattern of the SilktouchTM yields a whirling spiral across the target and is typically used in a pulsed mode. Areas that were treated in this study included the face, trunk and extremities. Treatment mainly consisted of management of facial wrinkles and scars, benign lesions, and rhinophyma. Histology confirmed depth of dermal penetration as a function of fluence. There were no wound healing complications. Healing occurred in a predictable manner dependent on depth of laser penetration. Conservative, primarily ablative flashscanning CO2 laser surgery has usefulness for treatment of patients in aesthetic surgery and offers major advantages.