3D image of lungs and chest organs

We provide highly-skilled thoracic surgery and thoracic surgical oncology services. Dr. Wayne Holley brings lifesaving care to patients with thoracic surgical diseases. This includes lung cancer. His practice is part of the Ephraim McDowell Lung Center. He is one of only a few thoracic surgeons in Kentucky who performs robotic-assisted lung resections. As a result, lung cancer patients receive lifesaving care close to home. This is important because the central Kentucky area leads the nation for the number of new lung cancer cases each year.

Dr. Holley develops a treatment plan specific to each patient and their diagnosis. As a result, the patient can expect the best possible outcome. Dr. Holley is trained to perform minimally-invasive surgery. This includes robot-assisted thorascopic surgery and video-assisted thoracic surgery. It also includes the tried-and-proven method of thoracotomy. Minimally-invasive thoracic surgery benefits patients. However, Dr. Holley will not sacrifice outcomes to do a certain procedure. He will choose the procedure that is best for the patient and their disease process. The goal is to have optimal outcomes after surgery.

Thoracic surgery is performed on organs in the chest. That includes the chest wall, heart, lungs, and esophagus. It also includes the tissues between these three organs in the chest.

The conditions treated by Dr. Holley include:

  • Lung cancer (all stages)
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Mediastinal tumors
  • Mediastinal lymphadenopathy of the chest
  • Chest wall tumors
  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Bullous emphysema
  • Empyema of the chest
  • Pleural effusions
  • Pericardial effusions
  • Septic arthritis of the sternoclavicular joint
  • Trauma involving the chest

Benefits to Patients

Lung cancer is a leading cause of death in this region. It is primarily caused by smoking. Lung cancer patients and their family benefit from the personalized care Dr. Holley provides. He is known for respecting patients and their families. He is committed to being timely when seeing patients. In addition, he learns about each patient and their family. Also, he will answer questions in a manner the patient and family can understand. As a result, patients are comfortable with their treatment plan.

If a patient needs surgery, Dr. Holley will schedule it in a timely manner. He is attentive to detail in the operating room and the care provided after surgery. He will see his patients immediately after surgery. At that time, he will address any concerns the patient may have. Dr. Holley follows his cancer patients during the course of their treatment. As a result, patients find comfort knowing that their surgeon remains involved in their care.

Lung Cancer Care

Lung cancer patients receive care from the thoracic surgeon, pulmonology physicians and thoracic oncology physician. They develop a treatment plan specific to each patient and their diagnosis. Thus, patients receive the highest level of cancer care. That care is equal to what is offered at medical centers in larger cities. Patients benefit by receiving care close to home. Thus, we expect our patients to have the best possible patient experience.

One of the more common thoracic surgical procedures is lung resection. It is done to treat lung cancer. Dr. Holley uses the da Vinci surgical robot to remove the cancerous part of the lung. It is a minimally-invasive procedure. As a result, patients experience less pain. They also have a lower risk for bleeding during surgery. In addition, the procedure poses fewer life-threatening risks. Patients also have a reduced length of stay in the hospital. Thus, they can expect a much quicker return to normal function. As a result, the patient has a more positive surgical experience.

Our Thoracic Surgery Provider

C. Wayne Holley, Jr., M.D.

Dr. Wayne Holley is a native of Chattanooga, TN. He graduated in 1985 from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He completed an internship in 1986 at the Chicago Medical School. In 1990, he completed a general surgery residency at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center in Memphis. He completed a thoracic surgery residency in 1992 at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. Dr. Holley retired from the practice of cardiac and vascular surgery in 2013. He completed a thoracic surgical oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City in 2014. There, he developed his expertise for treating cancers of the chest with a wide variety of surgical techniques.

To schedule an appointment, please call (859) 936-9356.


  • 216 West Walnut Street, Suite 3, Danville (inside the Ephraim McDowell Specialty Center)