Interview: Dr. Pedro Martinez Seijas, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon at Donostia University Hospital

Pedro Martinez Seijas MD. Ph.D. MSc. MSc. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon at Donostia University Hospital (San Sebastian. Spain). HM Hospital Vigo (Spain). He is a visiting Professor in Biomedical Engineering at Mondragon University (Spain) and European Fellow Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (Bruges. Belgium). Doctorate (2015) with doctoral thesis “Variability control using 3D printing biomodels in head and neck reconstruction with auto-transplant. Clinical Process Management”. His work is focused on personalized medicine for dental implants restoration, head, and neck surgical oncologic and surgical reconstruction, cranial and maxillofacial deformities.
Clinical investigation: Personalized Medicine using 3D printing in surgical oncology, surgical auto-transplant free flaps reconstruction and cranial and maxillofacial deformities (2001-2017). Study on synthetic and natural biomaterials for biomedical applications (2003). 3D printing biomodel guided surgery  (2005-2018). Regenerative medicine: Design, Development, and experimental use of resorbable polymer plates coated with hydroxyapatite for the improvement of bone regeneration in the treatment of craniofacial fractures with critical bone defect (2008). Mixed guided surgical computer assistance with 3D printing biomodels (2009-2017). First and second Spanish hemimandible custom made prosthesis (2009). Description of new surgical procedures:  “New Technique in Funcional Neck Dissection. A variant in Oswaldo Suarez´S Manoeuvre (2010)”; “A New Facial “Wings Maxillary” Osteotomomy in a Crouzon´s Syndrome. Mixed Guided Surgical Computer Assistance with 3D Printing Biomodels (2011)” and “Polymethyl Methacrylate Custom-Made Prosthesis: A novel 3D printing-aided Fabrication Technique for Cranial and/or Orbital Reconstruction (2011)”. Dr. Pedro Martinez Seijas will be a speaker at the #3DHEALS2018 conference on April 20-21st, 2018. 
Jenny: When was the first encounter you had with 3D printing? What was that experience like? What were you thinking at that moment?
Pedro: First use was in 2001 and then we improved the biomodel, simulation surgery and custom-made mesh for surgery.
Now after using 3D printing since eighteen years ago, I think that it’s an important tool in complex surgical procedures.
After Vigo´s (Spain) 3DHeals in November 2017 “3D Printing in Personalized Medicine”, a new future opens in Spain for 3d printing. In this way, 3D printing has come to stay with us for the present.
Jenny: What inspired you to start your research in 3D printing?
Pedro: Starting use of 3D printing was that standard hardware could not help us for some complex patients, and in the other hand 3D printing could increase to safety in surgical procedures and we could see results before surgery using surgical simulation planning.
Oncologic Surgical simulation of resection and autotransplant reconstruction. The result after surgery CT control. – 
Is it the same stimulation?                                                                  
After the beginning, I used 3D printing for “tailored medicine” that is personalized medicine in macro level using 3D printing guides in complex surgical procedures, I could mix 3D printing with computer-assisted surgery using surgical navigation, we could use custom-made prosthesis, I could teach other medical doctors and We could explain and inform the patients of biomodels and We could improve better communication in the surgical team.
3D printing mixed with CAS and custom-made prosthesis: 3D printing biomodel simulation, logistics and fabrication custom-made prosthesis in polymethyl methacrylate.
Jenny: Who inspired you the most along this journey in 3D printing (bio-printing/bio-fabrication)? This can be a mentor, a patient, a celebrity, anyone basically. You can name more than one as well.
Pedro: The inspiration in 2001 appeared with my chief when we were seeing ahead 3D CT scan reconstruction and we were speaking about take on our hands a copy of the patient for improve simulation surgery, molding osteosynthesis plates previous surgery or make custom made prosthesis.
Jenny: What motivates you the most for your work?
Pedro: Now such the past the patients are the most motivate me for finding excellence in my work, surgical procedures and patients information.  We can avoid side effects in some complex surgeries with better surgical results.
Now I am improving regenerative surgery in oral and maxillofacial surgery osteosynthesis.
Jenny: What is/are the biggest obstacle(s) in your line of work? If you have conquered them, what were your solutions?
Pedro: The biggest obstacle is that there are a lot of medical doctors that they cannot see what 3D printing can offer to the patients. In this way, 3D heals offer a great communication channel for inform MD and people.
For the future is increasing information, a colleague teaching 3D printing and we avoid bad uses of the 3D printing. In the same way, MD must become a leader in medical 3D printing because of we responsible for its proper use.
Jenny: What do you think is (are) the biggest challenge(s) in 3D Printing/bio-printing? What do you think the potential solution(s) is (are)?
Pedro: There are a lot of people working in 3D printing and 3D bio-printing but it is our responsibility to explain the things that we can do now, what things will be probable and what things will be possible, in other words, that we must have our feet firmly on the ground and avoid creating false expectations for the patients.
Jenny: If you are granted three wishes by a higher being, what would they be?
Pedro: We never forget: humility, knowledge and common sense.
Jenny: What advice would you give to a smart driven college student in the “real world”? What bad advice you heard should they ignore?
Pedro: I think: “We must study and we can learn then we must use your knowledge and common sense for helping other people in this way, our own evolution improves your life quality.”
Jenny: If you could have a giant billboard to promote a message to millions and even billions of people in our community (i.e. healthcare 3D printing and bio-fabrication), what message would that be?
Pedro: Be careful with everything that you can do with 3D printing, think different but ask yourself:  Must I do it? Will you use 3D printing on yourself?
Jenny: What were/was the best investment you made in 3D printing/bio-printing/bio-fabrication?
Pedro: The best investment has externalized the process of 3D printing because there are a lot of suppliers in different materials with multiple options.
Jenny: What were/was the worst investment you made in 3D printing/bio-printing/bio-fabrication?
Pedro: Instead there were the worst investments they ever help me for operating in complex surgeries.
Jenny: What was/is the biggest risk you took in your career?
Pedro: The first time in 2009 when I implanted the first Spanish custom-made prosthesis for reconstructing a hemi mandible in a child. Until now this child became an adult and I see them every year and he said to me this year “each step requires a lot of effort, but it’s worth the risk, it’s worth betting one’s very life”.
Custom made hemimandibular prosthesis design.          Medical grade titanium custom made
                                                                                         hemimandibular prosthesis.
In other way Eider came to me after MD said to her that they couldn’t do anything more. She was crying and was depressed for days when she received the notice. Then I thought several options for her and we spoke about them, I presented 3D printed custom made prosthesis and she said: “Ok this is the way”. After surgery she said to me: “3D printing changed my life it’s like being born again after the surgery”.
Jenny: What do you enjoy in your spare time? What are you passionate about outside of your work/3d printing?
Pedro: Medicine is my passion but in other ways I like to see soccer. I like to meet with my friends and family and speak around a table after we have a dinner while we sip good wine.
Jenny: What is your favorite quote? Why?
Pedro: “Errare humanum est, perseverare diabolicum” (“to err is human, but to persist is diabolical”)
 Lucius Annaeus Seneca.  Every person could err and I learn from mistakes made that they are big mountains, they humble me.
“Think different” Steve Jobs. I think that without it the evolution will not occur.
“In times of crisis imagination is more important than knowledge”. Albert Einstein. In this way for my imagination, the light of intuition can integrate more things than only knowledge.
Jenny: What does the word “3DHEALS” mean to you?
Pedro: It´s a future now: 3D printing.