Glossary Entry: Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS) Tube


Definition: The Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS) Tube is a medical device used in minimally invasive thoracic surgery to drain air or fluid from the pleural space between the lungs and the chest wall. It allows for visual monitoring and precise placement of the tube, enhancing the accuracy and safety of the procedure.

Detailed Description

Types and Variations

Variations: There are different sizes and designs of VATS tubes to accommodate varying patient anatomies and clinical needs. Some tubes may have specialized features for specific drainage requirements.


Common Uses: The VATS tube is commonly used in thoracic surgeries, such as for draining pleural effusions, pneumothorax, or empyema.

Insertion and Placement

Procedure: The VATS tube is typically inserted using minimally invasive techniques under video guidance, often through small incisions in the chest wall. The correct placement and positioning of the tube are crucial to ensure effective drainage and to minimize potential complications.

Clinical Considerations

Potential Complications

Risks: Potential risks associated with the use of VATS tubes include infection, bleeding, lung injury, or displacement of the tube.

Care and Maintenance

Maintenance Requirements: Proper care and maintenance of the VATS tube involve regular monitoring for signs of infection, ensuring secure placement, and timely drainage of accumulated fluids or air.

Additional Information

Related Devices

Associated Terms: Other devices commonly used in conjunction with VATS tubes may include chest drainage systems, suction units, and digital chest drainage devices.

Innovations and Advancements

Recent Developments: Recent advancements in VATS tube technology include the development of video-assisted navigation systems for more precise placement and real-time monitoring during insertion.

Regulatory and Safety Notes

Regulations: VATS tubes are regulated medical devices, and their use must adhere to specific safety and procedural guidelines set forth by regulatory authorities.