A surgical carbon dioxide laser is disclosed which includes a handpiece for directing a laser beam to a desired location. Mounted on the forward end of the handpiece is a hollow needle precisely aligned along the laser path. This permits the laser to be used in surgical applications where the needle perforates a porton of tissue to provide the laser beam direct access to distal tissue. The needle is mounted to the handpiece in a manner which provides for forward and lateral adjustment of the needle relative to the laser beam path which insures co-axiality between the laser beam and the needle lumen. This is crucial for the safe use of the laser. The needle is adjusted such that the focal point of the laser beam is approximately at the tip of the needle. This provides maximum energy at the tip of the needle where it is required. This apparatus is particularly useful in transmyocardial devices utilized to provide ischemic endocardial tissue direct access to blood within the ventricular cavity. The device is inserted within the epicardium of the heart; the laser is then activated to vaporize a channel of tissue through the endocardium. This provides for perforation of the endocardium with minimal damage to the epicardium.