Ezequiel J. Molina, MD, is a cardiac surgeon at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. He serves as the surgical director of the Advanced Heart Failure program, the LVAD and Heart Transplantation program, and of the ECMO program. He is also an associate professor of surgery at Georgetown University School of Medicine, and program director of the Advanced Mechanical Circulatory Support and Heart Transplant Fellowship Program. Dr. Molina is also director of the Cardiac Surgery Research program. He is board certified in thoracic surgery and general surgery.
Dr. Molina specializes in a variety of conditions, including end-stage heart failure, coronary artery disease, complications of myocardial infarction (such as ventricular septal defect, papillary muscle rupture, and cardiogenic shock), valvular heart disease, complex endocarditis cases, complex aortic root and ascending aortic aneurysms, aortic dissections, cardiac tumors (including cardiac myxomas), adult congenital conditions (including atrial septal defects, coronary anomalies, and pulmonic valve disease), cardiac arrhythmias (like atrial fibrillation), diseases of the pericardium, respiratory failure, and acute cardiogenic shock.
He has performed more 100 heart transplants and 300 left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantations, with better survival outcomes than the national averages. He leads one of the busiest LVAD programs in the country and a rapidly growing heart transplant program. Dr. Molina also performs complex coronary artery bypass procedures including total arterial revascularization, minimally invasive valve surgery, valve sparing aortic root replacement procedures, complex cardiac reoperations, and the insertion and management of ECMO to support patients in acute heart and/or respiratory failure.
Dr. Molina is a national and international leader in the field of mechanical circulatory support for the treatment of end-stage heart failure. He is a member of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons INTERMACS Task Force, a North American registry for the clinical outcomes of advanced heart failure patients who receive an FDA-approved mechanical circulatory support device. Dr. Molina is committed to delivering the highest quality of care and achieving the best possible outcomes across a spectrum of different surgical cardiac conditions, using both conventional and minimally invasive approaches.
After receiving his medical degree from Buenos Aires University in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dr. Molina completed his residency in general surgery and a research fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at Temple University School of Medicine. He went on to pursue a clinical research fellowship at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York, followed by a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery and specialized training in heart transplantation and mechanical circulatory support devices at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
Among Dr. Molina’s research interests are short and long-term outcomes with the use of durable LVADs, donor heart preservation techniques, improving heart transplantation outcomes, and the use of new mechanical devices for the treatment of cardiogenic shock. Dr. Molina participates in national and international clinical trials in the field of mechanical circulatory support and is regularly invited to give lectures at national and international meetings.
Philosophy of Care
“As a heart surgeon I do not just treat the disease, I treat the patient. Using state-of-the-art surgical procedures and technology, I deliver compassionate care individualized to each patient and their family. I work with them to alleviate their fears and concerns during one of the most stressful moments of their lives — when they are facing heart surgery. I consider my profession a true privilege, and I am always available for my patients and their families, as well as their referring cardiologists.”
Brown MA, Sheikh FH, Ahmed S, Najjar SS, Molina EJ. Intra-aortic Balloon Pump as a Bridge to Durable Left Ventricular Assist Device: A Contemporary Review. J Am Heart Assoc (accepted for publication 2021).
Genuardi MV, Moss N, Najjar SS, Houston BA, Shore S, Vorovich E, Atluri P, Molina M, Chambers S, Sharkoski T, Hsich E, Estep JD, Owens AT, Alexander KM, Chaudhry ST, Garcia-Cortes R, Molina E, Rodrigo M, Wald J, Margulies KB, Hanff TC, Zimme R, Kilic A, Mclean R, Vidula H, Dodd K, Blumberg EA, Mazurek JA, Goldberg LR, Alvarez-Garcia J, Mancini D, Teuteberg JJ, Tedford RJ, Birati EY. Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Heart Transplant Recipients: Risk Factors, Immunosuppression, and Outcomes. J Heart Lung Transplant (accepted for publication 2021).
Schlam I, Lee A, Li S, Sheikh FH, Zaghlol R, Basyal B, Gallaguer C, Molina E, Mahr C, Cheng R, Barac A. Left Ventricular Assist Devices in Patients with Active Malignancies. JACC CardioOncol (accepted for publication 2021).
Cowger JA, Molina EJ, Pagani FD. Intermacs: Evolving data capture to meet scientific needs. Ann Thorac Surg. 2021 Apr 20:S0003-4975(21)00720-7. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2021.04.025. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33891919.
Kitahara H, Najjar S, Ahmed S, Lam P, Kadakkal A, Rodrigo M, Hofmeyer M, Sheikh F, Molina E. Edge-to-edge mitral repair for iatrogenic chordal rupture related to Impella 5.0. J Card Surg. 2021; doi: 10.1111/jocs.15517.
Grinstein J, Sawalha Y, Medvedofsky DA, Ahmad S, Hofmeyer M, Rodrigo M, Kadakkal A, Barnett C, Kalantari S, Talati I, Zaghol R, Molina EJ, Sheikh FH, Najjar SS. VE/VCO2 slope predicts RV dysfunction and mortality after left ventricular assist device: a fresh look at cardiopulmonary stress testing for prognostication. J Artif Organs. 2021; doi: 10.1007/s10047-021-01261-9.
Grinstein J, Molina EJ, Sheikh FH. Successful HeartMate 3 LVAD implantation in a patient with active heparin-induced thrombocytopaenia with thrombosis using pre-implantation plasmapheresis and intraoperative continuous prostacyclin. Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg. 2021; doi: 10.1093/icvts/ivab039.
Molina EJ, Shah P, Kiernan MS, Cornwell WK III, Copeland H, Takeda K, Fernandez FG, Badhwar V, Habib RH, Jacobs JP, Koehl D, Kirklin JK, Pagani FD, Cowger JA, The Society of Thoracic Surgeons Intermacs 2020 Annual Report. Ann Thorac Surg. 2021; doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2020.12.038.
Alnababteh M, Hashmi MD, Vedantam K, Chopra R, Kohli A, Hayat F, Kriner E, Molina E, Pratt A, Oweis E, Zaaqoq AM. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for COVID-19 induced hypoxia: Single-center study. Perfusion;2020. doi: 10.1177/0267659120963885.
Frenk NE, Tabori NE, Molina EJ, Sabri SS. Large-bore Suction Thrombectomy Therapy for Massive Pulmonary Embolism on Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation. J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2020;31:1932-1934.
Cain CJ, Ahmad H, Molina EJ. Mediastinal tissue friability-An unreported complication from Mycobacterium chimaera infection post-cardiac surgery. J Card Surg. 2020 doi: 10.1111/jocs.14928.
Kenigsberg BB, Majure DT, Sheikh FH, Afari-Armah N, Rodrigo M, Hofmeyer M, Molina EJ, Wang Z, Boyce S, Najjar SS, Mohammed SF. Sex Associated Differences in Cardiac Reverse Remodeling in Patients Supported by Contemporary Left Ventricular Assist Devices.J Card Fail
Uriel N, Jeevanandam V, Imamura T, Onsager D, Song T, Ota T, Juricek C, Combs P, Lammy T, Patel-Raman S, Woolley JR, Sayer G, Milano C, Schroder J, Molina E, Grinstein J, Suarez E, Estep JD, Aggarwal S, Silvestry S, Raval N; iVAS Investigators. Clinical Outcomes and Quality of Life With an Ambulatory Counterpulsation Pump in Advanced Heart Failure Patients: Results of the Multicenter Feasibility Trial. Circ Heart Fail. 2020 doi: 10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.119.006666.
A Fully Magnetically Levitated Left Ventricular Assist Device - Final Report. Mehra MR, Uriel N, Naka Y, Cleveland JC Jr, Yuzefpolskaya M, Salerno CT, Walsh MN, Milano CA, Patel CB, Hutchins SW, Ransom J, Ewald GA, Itoh A, Raval NY, Silvestry SC, Cogswell R, John R, Bhimaraj A, Bruckner BA, Lowes BD, Um JY, Jeevanandam V, Sayer G, Mangi AA, Molina EJ, Sheikh F, Aaronson K, Pagani FD, Cotts WG, Tatooles AJ, Babu A, Chomsky D, Katz JN, Tessmann PB, Dean D, Krishnamoorthy A, Chuang J, Topuria I, Sood P, Goldstein DJ; MOMENTUM 3 Investigators. N Engl J Med 2019;380:1618-1627.
Molina EJ, Boyce SW. Current Status of Left Ventricular Assist Device Technology. Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2013;5:56-63.
Mavroudis CD, Molina EJ, Stewart A. Cerebral protection for aortic arch surgery: hybrid approach. Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2012;24:302-304.
Molina EJ, Sandusky M, Gupta D, Gaughan J, McClurken J, Furukawa S, Macha M. Outcomes after heart transplantation in patients with and without pretransplant renal dysfunction. Scand Cardiovasc J 2010;44:168-176.
Molina EJ, Gupta D, Palma J, Gaughan JP, Macha M. Right ventricular beneficial effects of intracoronary SERCA2a gene transfer in an experimental model of heart failure. Folia Biol (Praha) 2010;56:1-8.
Molina EJ, Shorts S, Monteiro G, Gaughan J, Macha M. Symptomatic gastroesophageal reflux disease after lung transplantation. Gen Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2009;57:647-653
Seamon MJ, Shiroff AM, Franco M, Stawicki SP, Molina EJ, Gaughan JP, Reilly PM,. Schwab CW, Pryor JP, Goldberg AJ. Emergency department thoracotomy for penetrating injuries of the heart and great vessels: an appraisal of 283 consecutive cases from two urban trauma centers. J Trauma 2009;67:1250-1257; discussion 1257-1258.
Molina EJ, Palma J, Gupta D, Gaughan JP, Houser S, Macha M. Right ventricular effects of intracoronary delivery of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) in an animal model of pressure overload heart failure. Biomed Pharmacother 2009;63:767-772.
Macha M, Molina EJ, Franco M, Luyun L, Gaughan JP, Beltramo DG, McClurken JB, Furukawa S. Pre-transplant obesity in heart transplantation: are there predictors of worse outcomes? Scand Cardiovasc J 2009;16:1-7.
Molina EJ, Gupta D, Palma J, Gaughan JP, Macha M. Right ventricular beneficial effects of beta adrenergic receptor kinase inhibitor (betaARKct) gene transfer in a rat model of severe pressure overload. Biomed Pharmacother 2009;63:331-336.
Molina EJ, Gupta D, Palma J, Torres D, Gaughan J, Houser S, Macha M. Novel experimental model of pressure overload hypertrophy in rats. J Surg Res 2009;153:287-294.
Molina EJ, Palma J, Gupta D, Torres D, Gaughan J, Houser S, Macha M. Reverse remodeling is associated with changes in extracellular matrix proteases and tissue inhibitors after mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) treatment of pressure overload hypertrophy. J Tissue Eng Regen Med 2009;3:85-91.
Gupta D, Molina EJ, Palma J, Gaughan JP, Long W, Macha M. Adenoviral beta-adrenergic receptor kinase inhibitor gene transfer improves exercise capacity, cardiac contractility, and systemic inflammation in a model of pressure overload hypertrophy. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther 2008;22:373-381.
Molina EJ, Gaughan JP, Kulp H, McClurken JB, Goldberg AJ, Seamon JM. Outcomes after emergency department thoracotomy for penetrating cardiac injuries: a new perspective. Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg 2008;7:845-848.
Boden G, Duan X, Homko C, Molina EJ, Song W, Perez O, Cheung P, Merali S. Increase in endoplasmic reticulum stress-related proteins and genes in adipose tissue of obese, insulin-resistant individuals. Diabetes 2008;57:2438-2444.
Molina EJ, Mayer K, Khurana J, Grewal H. Pleomorphic adenoma of the submandibular gland. J Pediatr Surg 2008;43:1224-1226.
Gupta D, Palma J, Molina EJ, Gaughan JP, Long W, Houser S, Macha M. Improved exercise capacity and reduced systemic inflammation after adenoviral-mediated SERCA-2a gene transfer. J Surg Res 2008;145:257-65.
Molina EJ, Palma J, Gupta D, Torres D, Gaughan J, Houser S, Macha M. Improvement in hemodynamic performance, exercise capacity, inflammatory profile, and left ventricular reverse remodeling after intracoronary delivery of mesenchymal stem cells in an experimental model of pressure overload hypertrophy. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2008;135:292-299, 299.e1.
Macha M, Gupta D, Molina EJ, Palma J, Rothman S. Congenital heart disease manifested as acute abdominal pain. Int J Cardiol 2007;118:e92-93.
Gupta D, Molina EJ, Palma J, Macha M. Massive right atrial myxoma presenting with syncope. Heart Vessels 2006;21:256-257.