Traveling For Surgery?

“If you can drive into San Francisco to dine at a fine restaurant or see a show, you can certainly drive into San Francisco to save or improve your life!”

–Anonymous grateful patient

Why Travel For Your Surgery?

It is important that you have the right procedure done the first time. Most medical practitioners don’t understand the optimal treatment for pilonidal disease, and many have little interest in the disease because it has been so difficult to treat in the past.  Few surgeons know about the cleft-lift procedure and many who claim to perform the procedure have minimal experience with it.  The cleft-lift procedure is arguably the treatment of choice for chronic pilonidal disease.  Rather than undergoing an inadequate operation and developing a recurrent abscess, you are better off consulting a surgeon who has experience treating difficult pilonidal disease.  Remember, only a handful of surgeons really have significant experience with the cleft-lift procedure.

Does your hospital have a board certified Colon & Rectal Surgeon?

Board certification and high practice volume are two important factors to consider when choosing a surgeon.  Studies show that both factors lead to better outcomes.  A board certified Colon and Rectal Surgeon has completed five or more years of general surgical training and an additional fellowship year in Colon and Rectal Surgery.  Passage of the written and oral examinations given by both the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery is required.  Colon and Rectal Surgeons are committed to the highest standards of care for patients with diseases affecting the lower gastrointestinal tract.  Studies demonstrate that well-trained Colon and Rectal Surgeons have lower complication rates, lower mortality rates, and overall better outcomes than non-fellowship trained general surgeons for colo-rectal diseases.

The majority of cleft-lift procedures are performed at the Presidio Surgery Center, an outpatient facility of California Pacific Medical Center.  For procedures requiring an inpatient stay we operate at the Pacific Campus of California Pacific Medical Center ( a world-class tertiary level teaching hospital.  Our CPMC anesthesiologists are top notch.  You cannot find a better team elsewhere.

Members of our helpful office staff speak Mandarin, Cantonese, Russian, Tagalog, and Spanish. Many of our staff members have worked with our practice for years, even decades, and are a vital element of our cohesive office. They are available to assist you with scheduling appointment, tests, and surgery and are happy to answer your questions.

Appointments are always available within one day.

Excellent hotel accommodations are available for a discount at the Hotel Kubuki.  San Francisco has many other world-class hotels.  The office staff can help coordinate your stay.  Please contact Jan at 415-668-0416.

If you live outside of the San Francisco Bay Area and would care to contact Dr. Sternberg prior to making an appointment, please email a concise history of your story to Jan Deboer (

Please make the history brief (bulleted points are best) and make sure to answer the following questions:

  • When did you first notice the condition (month, year)?
  • Have you required any office or emergency room drainage procedures, and how many?
  • Have you required operations in an operating room? How many, and when? If so, were the incisions closed or left open requiring packing?
  • How long did you require wound care?
  • Have you ever had a ‘Wound Vac’? For how long?

Also include,

  • A list of all of your surgeries
  • Any medical conditions you have
  • A list of your medications
  • Your accurate height and weight

Please attach to the email 2 photos. For instructions on how to take the proper photos please click here.

Who has travelled for surgery?

Dr. Sternberg has operated on many patients from the San Francisco Bay area (Marin County, Mill Valley, Sausalito, San Rafael, Santa Rosa, Tiburon, Novato, Vallejo, Larkspur, Corte Madera, Belvedere, Oakland, Berkeley, Burlingame, Castro Valley, Concord, Walnut Creek, Cupertino, Davis, Fairfield, Freemont, Fresno, Modesto, Hayward, Palo Alto, Livermore, Lodi, Napa, Sonoma, Pacifica, Pittsburg, Pleasanton, Redding, Richmond, San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Jose, Santa Cruz, South San Francisco, Daly City, Stockton, Sunnyvale…), the western region of the United States (Tahoe, Nevada, San Diego, Los Angeles, Washington State, Oregon, The Mid-West…), and from far away (Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Tokyo, Qatar, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Bejing, Canton, Seoul….).  International travelers are welcome.

Pilonidal Surgery

This website should help you with this important decision: what is the best surgical option for...

1) primary disease with multiple,
2) primary disease with large pits,
3) persistent or recurrent disease,
4) an unhealed wound after one or several pilonidal surgeries

To schedule an appointment please call or email Jan at 415-668-0416

Dr. Jeffrey Sternberg

Dr Jeffrey Sternberg is a leading Colon and Rectal surgeon.Dr. Sternberg is active in the national leadership of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons and has been elected President of the Northern California Chapter of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgery. Extending his commitment to the care of patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Dr. Sternberg serves on the Board of Directors of the Northern California Chapter of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America.

Surgical Director, Center For Inflammatory Diseases
California Pacific Medical Center

Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery
University of California San Francisco

Contact Dr. Sternberg through
San Francisco Surgical Medical Group.

Chrohns & Colitis Foundation

American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons