Video-Guided Chest Tube Insertion System

Tech ID: 23505 / UC Case 2012-287-0


Annually, thousands of chest tubes are placed into the pleural space of patients who have excessive air and/or fluid collapsing the lung. Currently, chest tube placement requires either an extremely painful “medieval” incision and clamp technique, or a trocar/dilator system. Both are “blind” procedures which often lead to poor tube position, organ damage, and in some circumstances, death.


Dr. Robert Cameron, Professor of Clinical Cardiothoracic Surgery and Surgical Oncology in the Department of Surgery at UCLA, has designed a novel trocar system that supports real-time visual monitoring of chest tube placement. The device capitalizes on existing medical video technology to provide real-time monitoring and guidance of anatomical position of the chest tube during placement.   


  • Adapt existing chest tube insertion systems to enable visualization of insertion in real-time
  • Adapt bronchoscope systems to enable visualization of broncoscopy in real-time


  • Facilitates localized injection of anesthesia
  • Improves precision of chest tube placement
  • Suction channel removes fluid and/or air directly from pleural cavity while placing the tube
  • Expandable balloon increases the size of the trochar portion of the device, thereby accommodating many chest tube sizes

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Published Application 20150342699 12/03/2015 2012-287


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  • Cameron, Robert B.

Other Information


Chest tube, visualization, bronchoscope, medical device, intensive care

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