In Dragon Ball: Episode of Bardock, after his defeat at the hands of Frieza, Bardock somehow time-traveled into the past and arrived injured on Planet Plant, where he was found by a Plantian doctor named Ipana. The doctor brought Bardock to the former's house, and heals him using a medicine that Bardock remarks it is similar to the fluid in Medical Machines.
When the space tyrant Chilled arrives on Planet Plant, he remarks that Ipana's medicine has the power to heal wounds instantly and orders his soldiers to steal the medicine from him.
Medical Machines are mainly used by the Frieza Force led by Chilled's descendants King Cold and his two sons, Frieza and Cooler. When a person is badly injured, they are put into this tank and hooked up with a breathing apparatus and other various wires, allowing operators of the machine to monitor the recipient's vitals from outside of the tank. According to Goku, the vessel induces a blissful and soothing sensation of recovery on whomever it is healing. After healing up, the person can then leave the tank, fully rejuvenated. Because of the Zenkai healing abilities of the Saiyans, these tanks massively increase a Saiyans' power after use, making it a very useful object for the Saiyan Army. Although it regenerated Vegeta's blinded eye, it does not regenerate larger lost limbs such as a Saiyan's tail or more than half of Frieza's body.
Bardock was placed in a Medical Machine after the Kanassan war in the TV special Dragon Ball Z: Bardock - The Father of Goku. After being severely injured on Planet Kanassa, Bardock is taken back to Planet Vegeta and put into recovery. Later on he heals, and makes his way to Planet Meat.
During the Namek Saga in Dragon Ball Z, Vegeta uses the tank upon his return to Planet Frieza 79 after being badly injured from his battle on Earth. After he is fully healed, he heads for planet Namek. On Namek, after Zarbon manages to defeat Vegeta, Zarbon orders Appule to heal him in a Medical Machine inside Frieza's spaceship to question him about the location of the Dragon Balls. However, after a mockery from Appule, Vegeta bursts out of the tank destroying it, and proceeds to steals all of the gathered Dragon Balls from Frieza.
After Goku is badly injured during the battle with Captain Ginyu, he is placed in an older tank inside Frieza's ship as the newer one was destroyed by Vegeta. After rejuvenating, Goku breaks out of the tank and makes his way toward the battlefield where he confronts Frieza.
After Planet Namek exploded, Frieza drifted through space, critically injured from the explosion and the battle with Goku, until being rescued by his father, King Cold. Frieza then recovered inside a Medical Machine prior to receiving cybernetic parts to compensate for the loss of his limbs during his fight with Goku.
In Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’, a new model of Medical Machine is seen in Sorbet's spaceship. This model is so highly advanced that is able to completely regenerate Frieza even when his body had been sliced up.
During the Future Trunks Saga in Dragon Ball Super, Goku uses a similar medical tank at Capsule Corp after being nearly fatally injured in his battle with Goku Black and Future Zamasu. Unlike other healing tanks, this one does not appear to use liquid to heal the user.
Video game appearances
In Dragon Ball Z II: Gekishin Freeza, the Medical Machines inside Frieza's spaceship can be used in order to recover HP. In Dragon Ball Z: Legend of the Super Saiyan, Medical Machines can be found in some houses on Namek and can be used by Gohan and his party. In Dragon Ball Z: Tenkaichi Tag Team, they are named Recuperation chambers.
Medical Machine is a z-item gained by Disc Fusion System in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3. Its effects are:
- Recover some health while in battle.
- Teammates on standby steadily recover health.
- Recover some Ki while in battle.
- Teammates on standby steadily recover their Ki.
In Dragon Ball: Xenoverse, Medical Machines appear in a room on Frieza's spaceship which is a stage in the Ginyu Force Saga and certain Parallel Quests. During the game's Frieza Saga, Goku can be seen healing inside a Medical Machine due to the injures sustained during the game's Ginyu Saga, like in the original history. In the altered history, Goku senses the battle with Dark Frieza outside the healing chamber. Outside he senses Gohan as the last fighter still standing against Dark Frieza who has managed to easily kill Vegeta and Krillin after transforming into his Final Form. and was about to kill Gohan. Unable to standby as his only son is about to killed by the tyrant, Goku leaves the Medical Machine before he is fully healed, just in time to save Gohan.
- Vegeta once stated that the liquid in the tank is synthetic Saiyan DNA.
- The Medical Machines in Dragon Ball Z look and function very similarly to the Bacta tanks in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980). This is not surprising as author Akira Toriyama is known to be a fan of Star Wars.