Sean Hensler is quick to share credit for the success of his surgical equipment supply business.
Much credit is also due to Hensler, a health care professional who holds patents for devices his Wilmington- based company markets. Others are in development.
The U.S. Marine Corps veteran is founder and CEO of Hensler Surgical Technologies LLC
Hensler is a certified physician assistant and holder of a master of medical science degree. Hensler is constantly on the move, developing new products and growing his business. He also thinks strategically.
“We are always looking for synergistic products that fit the same mold of our company’s surgical focus,” including spine, orthopedic and restorative-regenerative products, he said.
Hensler Surgical owns the patents for the Hensler Bone Press and Hensler Bone Collector.
The Hensler Bone Press is a patented device that maximizes the collection and separation of bone. It “quickly and efficiently separates bone from fluid during surgery,” according to the company website.
The Hensler Bone Collector is another surgical tool he developed.
Hensler Surgical also carries other surgical devices related to neurosurgery and orthopedic surgeries.
Hensler Surgical currently has three W-2 employees, more than 150 1099 representatives and distributors throughout the domestic market, and more than 30 international representatives.
Ortho Consulting Group is the company’s consulting group and represents Hensler Surgical to market its products and find new proven distributors in pockets overseas.
“We are represented at such massive trade shows as Arab Health and EUROSPINE,” Hensler said.
His story begins watching his father, Michael Hensler Sr., a man he describes as a skilled “tinkerer” who invented the Surf Chair, a specially designed form of transport that allows individuals with disabilities to maneuver over sand and access beaches.
Hensler said observing his father provided inspiration to think through complicated processes and learn to harness his own ideas.
Hensler served from 1996 to 2001 in the Marine Corps as a hospital corpsman, including overseas deployments. After obtaining his physical therapy and master of medical science degrees, he began working in neurosurgery in 2005 with then-attending physician Thomas Melin, company co-founder and a Wilmington neurosurgeon.
While still in the Marines, Hensler suffered a back injury and had a disc herniation “that showed its ugly head in 2010,” he said.
He underwent successful back surgery performed by Melin.
In February 2011 as a PA-C, Hensler attended a combination spine conference and ski trip in Aspen, Colorado. Because of his back condition, he couldn’t ski, but Hensler made the most of his time while others were on the slopes.
“I went to the local coffee shop and saw a French press [coffee press] and started thinking, could that work for separating bone and blood? It gave me something to do that week, and I took a shuttle into Aspen and found a computer in a gas station where I worked all week,” he said.
Hensler Surgical was launched in 2011 “and the hard work of R&D, testing, prototyping and clinical analysis begun that took us to 2012,” he said.
In between surgeries he assisted on, Hensler said he “just kept plugging and working on it, ultimately launching the Hensler Bone Press in December 2012.”
Hensler’s business outlook is upbeat. He said 2018 “was a huge year of growth and bringing in new devices.”