A method is disclosed for substantially cutting and cauterizing tissue during a surgical procedure. The method involves using a first laser beam to irradiate a first area. The first laser beam is configured in intensity and duration to cut the tissue within the first area, and further causes a temporary increase in an absorptivity of tissue in a second area in proximity to the first area. A second laser beam is used to irradiate the second area while the temporary increase in absorptivity is occurring. The second laser beam has a different intensity than the first laser beam and cauterizes tissue within the second area substantially simultaneously with the cutting of the tissue in the first area.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT RIGHTS
 The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC52-07NA27344, between the U.S. Department of Energy and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.