Testimonials & Reviews

The Sternberg Clinic

Jeffrey A. Sternberg, MD, FACS, FASCRS

Pilonidal Surgery & Board-Certified Colorectal Surgeon located in Civic Center, Hayes Valley, San Francisco, CA

50 total reviews

Dr. Jeffrey A. Sternberg always appreciates feedback from his valued patients. To date, we’re thrilled to have collected 50 reviews with an average rating of 5 out of 5 stars. Please read what others are saying about Dr. Jeffrey Sternberg below, and as always, we would love to collect your feedback.

Nick T.
Submitted 11/18/19
Great doctor, great treatment. I had the pilonidal surgery over 10 years ago and I still have no signs of the cyst coming back. If I could remember, I was up and around 3-4 days after surgery and returned to all my activities within the month. I'm very grateful to Dr. Sternberg and his team. Pro tip: Do bridge exercises (you can google it) to help bulk up your glutes a few months after surgery. Otherwise, it could hurt if you sit for long periods of time.
Jacob H.
Submitted 11/01/19
Dr. Sternberg, without question, is one of the top experts (if not the best) in treating pilonidal disease in the world. Since my freshman year of high school, I repeatedly struggled to combat the seemingly undefeatable pilonidal disease. I first had surgery with a plastic surgeon in Pennsylvania and had laser hair removal treatment in hope to prevent the disease from recurring. Unfortunately, I still had numerous trips back to my surgeon and also to urgent care to have painful abscesses drained. After a couple months without issue, I thought I was in the clear. Nevertheless, the disease returned yet again, and at the worst time. Two weeks into my first semester at college in fall 2017, the disease forced me to withdrawal to have surgery yet again. This second surgery was performed by team of a colorectal surgeon and a plastic surgeon, who were each regarded to be of the best surgeons in the Tampa Bay area. They performed a V-Y flap procedure, which ultimately left me with a huge scar but did not cure the disease. Due to the pain, I could not sit normally for over an entire month after this surgery. I returned to school at Michigan in January, where I continued to suffer embarrassing drainage. Beyond the physical pain, the mental suffering is equally profound. My doctor at school, the head general surgeon at the University of Michigan hospital who has performed hundreds of pilonidal surgeries, assured me the drainage was merely from a wound healing issue. After countless follow up appointments and small procedures with no signs of improvement, I had a strong gut feeling that something was still seriously wrong. In great desperation, I found Dr. Sternberg online, and flew to San Francisco for a consultation.I returned with my dad just a few weeks later to have surgery. The entire process was incredibly easy and clearly very well thought out. Dr. Sternberg's staff were incredibly friendly and helpful throughout the process. The same day as my surgery, my dad and I were able to sit down for an awesome steak dinner! And most importantly, now a year post-surgery, I have had no absolutely no signs of disease recurrence! In short, I am incredibly thankful to have found and been cared for by Dr. Sternberg, unquestionably one of the leading pilonidal disease experts in the world. Dr. Sternberg is truly brilliant, caring and extremely experienced. The cleft lift procedure he performs is definitely at the cutting edge of his field. Had I gone to Dr. Sternberg from the outset, I could have avoided years of unsuccessful procedures and surgeries, countless hours in doctors offices and significant mental and physical suffering. If you are suffering from pilonidal disease, do not waste time elsewhere! Go straight to Dr. Sternberg. You will not regret it. Dr. Sternberg, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for giving me my life back!
Monica B.
Submitted 10/27/19
We traveled from Orlando to San Francisco to have surgery with Dr. Sternberg for my son. I simply wish we went to him first. The surgeon that performed the first excision left my son with a very large and deep wound. My son suffered for 10 months after his first surgery. We went to Mayo Clinic and other surgeons but no one was able to give us answers.I can not explain to you the sense of reassurance, and relief that both my son and I felt after the first consultation with Dr. Sternberg. We knew we finally have been rescued. It was most difficult for me as a mother to see my son suffer the way he did having this failed surgery.I recommend to anyone diagnosed with pilonidal disease to go to Dr. Jeffrey Sternberg first! He is very intelligent and knowledgeable he treated us with upmost care and respect .His staff are all very friendly and respectful in person and on all the phone calls we made . The surgery was a success. My son is now back to work after only six weeks post surgery. He gave him his life back.Don’t let another surgeon touch you or your child. Dr. Sternberg is simply the best in the country. We are forever is his debt.
Monica B.
Submitted 10/27/19
We traveled from Orlando Florida to San Francisco to have surgery with Dr. Sternberg for my son. I simply wish we went to him first. The surgeon that performed the first excision left my son with a very large and deep wound. My son suffered for 10 months after his first surgery. We went to Mayo Clinic and other surgeons but no one was able to give us answers.I can not explain to you the sense of reassurance, and relief that both my son and I felt after the first consultation with Dr. Sternberg. We knew we finally have been rescued. It was most difficult for me as a mother to see my son suffer the way he did having this failed surgery.I recommend to anyone diagnosed with pilonidal disease to go to Dr. Jeffrey Sternberg first! He is very intelligent and knowledgeable he treated us with upmost care and respect .His staff are all very friendly and respectful in person and on all the phone calls we made . Don’t let another surgeon touch you or your child. Dr. Sternberg is simply the best in the country. We are forever is his debt.
Michael B.
Submitted 10/23/19
My experience with Dr. Sternberg and his staff was the most amazing medical experience I have ever been a part of. I had been suffering from pilonidal disease for 4 years with no where to turn. My first pilonidal surgery done here in Florida by a different surgeon failed and I was left with 2 holes and drainage coming from both. I could barely walk no less live a normal life. When I had no where else to turn I found Dr. Sternberg and almost immediately his staff got back to me and got the surgery scheduled. I had read his reviews and all of them are true. They are amazing at handling everything and Dr. Sternberg is simply incredible at what he does. It has now been a month since my surgery with him and I am back at work, can workout and can live normally again. If you are suffering from pilonidal disease please contact Dr. Sternberg and do not go through multiple surgeries that can make your life miserable. I honestly did not think I would ever be able to live without the disease again but Dr. Sternberg pretty much gave me my life back and I will forever be grateful for what he did. Please do not hesitate to contact him and his staff if you have the disease, he will give you the best treatment in the country.
Austin S.
Submitted 10/21/19
I had surgery with Dr. Sternberg to fix a pilonidal cyst about 9 years ago. I was around 15 or 16 at the time. Let me start the review by saying, in the strongest possible terms: If you have pilonidal disease, get treated by Dr. Sternberg. Stop looking at other physicians or other treatments or other anything. Dr. Jeffrey Sternberg is simply the best. You will not find a better option – if it's at all possible, do the treatment with him. And if you can't do it with him, get him to recommend someone. Do not go to anyone else. You will thank yourself later. To explain why, let me tell you what might have happened if I had not found Dr. Sternberg. Before finding Dr. Sternberg, my mom and I went to the Oakland Children's Hospital. This is not a knock on them – they do great work, and maybe they've adopted Dr. Sternberg's technique by now. But when I went, they told me the only options were to either leave it alone and do nothing, or to excise it to the bone. Excision would've involved removing a ~1.5 cubic inch chunk of flesh from around where the cyst was, basically carving a hole that goes as deep as my tailbone. And then because that wound would've been too wide to close with stitches, they pretty much would have left it open to heal. It would've been an inpatient procedure with at least one overnight hospital stay, and the healing process would have taken months. All the while, I wouldn't have been able to lie down on my back or sit properly because, you know, there would be a giant gaping open wound right above my butt. All of that, and the risk of recurrence would still be very high. Then we found Dr. Sternberg. I can not explain to you the sense of reassurance, peace, and relief that both I and my mother felt after my first consult with Dr. Sternberg. He explained everything in incredibly clear terms that a layman could easily understand, but he still explained all the details and context so that I fully understood why he had developed his method, how his method worked, and why it was so much better than any other treatment. He addressed all of my and my mother's questions and concerns; he didn't force anything on us, he just explained it all very clearly. He's a really wonderful guy, too, he just has a very kind, comforting energy that makes you feel safe, but he's also very intelligent and really knows his stuff, so you know he knows what he's talking about. After that first consult, there was no question about what we would do. My mother and I felt like we'd been found by a rescue boat in the middle of the ocean. The procedure itself went exactly as Dr. Sternberg described. It was a pretty low-impact surgical operation; I had it in the morning and was back at home by the afternoon. While it does still require a recovery period, it left me with only a stitched-up incision scar and then a couple of drainage wounds, which Dr. Sternberg explained how to care for in great detail. I think I was more or less on bed rest for a week, but I'm not sure if that's fully necessary – again, it was a long time ago and I don't remember that well. But all of this is to say that recovery presented no issue: I knew exactly what to expect and it healed just like Dr. Sternberg told me it would. After the wound closed up and finished healing, the whole ordeal was over. I've never had to do anything to take care of it, never felt any weirdness or pain in the area, and certainly have never had anything close to a recurrence. The procedure has remained effective through 9 years, and I had it when I was 16, so my body has changed a lot since the surgery – but it still prevented any recurrence, and that shows no sign of changing. It was one procedure and it completely cured the issue. I'm just grateful I didn't try anything else before having Dr. Sternberg treat me! So again – and I can not say this strongly enough – if you have pilonidal disease, GO TO DR. JEFFREY STERNBERG FOR TREATMENT, and just thank your lucky stars you found him. He is the best of the best for this condition, and his method will not only resolve the issue, but it may save you years of hopping from surgery to painful, expensive surgery, waiting for a recovery that never fully comes. Even though I haven't seen him since, I am beyond grateful that he operated on me, as I'm confident that he saved me from a lot of prolonged suffering had I gone with another surgeon. Dr. Sternberg is a wonderfully kind and compassionate man, a great communicator, and a shining example of what it means to be not only a great surgeon, but a healer in the truest sense of the word. He cares about making you feel safe and comfortable (while still being fully honest with you about the situation) as much as he does about doing the surgery, and for a condition that's often marked by uncertainty and poor outcomes, a consult with him feels like someone throwing you a life preserver while you're drowning in the ocean. I know it sounds like I'm being hyperbolic. But excellence of his level is rare in the world, and he really deserves everything I'm saying about him. So to finish, I'll say it again: If you have pilonidal disease or a pilonidal cyst, GET TREATED BY DR. JEFFREY STERNBERG. Do not go to anyone else. You have found the best option, and he is it. Have him treat you. You will thank yourself for it, and you'll be saving yourself from potential years of suffering and recurrence. Thank you so much Dr. Sternberg!
Anne R.
Submitted 10/20/19
Dr. Sternberg treated me for a very persistent pilonidal cyst 10 years ago. It was a perfect surgery and I have had no recurrence since that day. I have deep respect for Dr. Sternberg's abilities and technique.
Keegan E.
Submitted 10/09/19
I'm extremely satisfied with the results of my surgery. After dealing with the cyst for what seemed like a few years, getting prodded with needles, and draining, I was fortunate enough to referred to Dr. Sternberg. He was very informative about the procedure, the risks of not doing a procedure, and made my decision to get it done easy. The procedure itself was a same day in and out. The recovery process from the procedure was longer than I anticipated, but 3 years later, I've got no symptoms and would say it's a 100% success for me. If you're dealing with a Pilonidal Cyst, I'd highly recommend getting this procedure from Dr. Sternberg.
NancyAnn W.
Submitted 08/30/19
Dr Sternberg quite literally saved my son. Suffering from a pilonidal cyst, my son had surgery. It failed, and for a year he was trying to function like a normal teen, but in massive pain, and with an incision that wouldn’t heal (it was open, and drained constantly). I found Dr Sternberg on the internet, and he immediately assured us he could fix it, and my son would go on healed. Needless to say, he did -fix the mess left behind, and cure the issue- and we are forever in his debt. I recommend to anyone diagnosed with this to go to him first! Don’t let another surgeon touch you or your child!
Rebecca Z.
Submitted 08/07/19
As I sit here writing about our experience with Doctor Sternberg, I truly hope that I am able to do him justice and convey clearly to everyone what an amazing physician, surgeon, and human being he is. While on vacation in San Francisco for New Year 2019, my 16 year old son complained of a cyst like bump on his tailbone and a strange drainage coming from below the cyst. My "mom brain" went into immediate worry-mode and I frantically did a google search that produced the the diagnosis of pilonidal cyst. I freaked out even more reading about the horror stories associated with the treatment. Well, the stars must have been aligned that day because I then proceeded to do a search for a doctor who specializes in pilonidal disease and since we were in San Francisco, Dr. Sternberg's website popped right up. I called immediately, but due to the holidays, the answering service picked up. I nervously explained what was going on, not expecting to hear back from anyone until the next week as they had told me that the doctor was away for the New Year. To my surprise, within 10 minutes, Dr. Sternberg himself called me back. He was so reassuring and I immediately felt at ease. He explained to me that I needed to take photos of my son and precisely how to do it (also explained on his website) so that I could send them directly to him for the confirmation of the condition. Since we were leaving San Francisco to head back to Dubai (where we live) in a couple of days time, this was an absolute life saver as we would be leaving before the office opened back up for appointments. I took the pictures, sent them and the diagnosis was confirmed. Through speaking with Dr. Sternberg, utilizing the abundance of information on his website and doing an exhaustive external online search, we were able to comfortably make an informed decision about his treatment. There was absolutely no guess work involved in having Dr. Sternberg perform the cleft-lift procedure and we travelled 16 hours by plane to do so! After reading about Dr. Sternberg's expertise with this condition and the cleft-lift procedure, I would not have dreamed of having anyone else do this surgery. Both the doctor and his staff made the whole process easy. The consult was set up for the first day, surgery the next and check up on the third. My son's pilonidal disease was very advanced and had gone undetected for quite some time, making his an extremely difficult case. I was so worried. But again, Dr. Sternberg was an absolute hero throughout the entire process. After coming out of surgery, the doctor explained that even though his condition was much more extensive than was apparent outwardly, he was confident that he would heal well. Dr. Sternberg actually called and texted me frequently during the recovery process to check on my son, often before I even had the chance to call him! On the occasions that I did call or message him (and there were plenty of times that I did) he always answered quickly and never made me feel like I was bothering him. My son is doing so well now and we are so incredibly grateful to have found Dr. Sternberg. I try not to think of what might have happened had we not. Thank you a thousand times over, Doc!
Julie H.
Submitted 07/25/19
My son, Drew, who is 19 years old, had surgery with Dr. Sternberg on the 17th of July 2019. This was Drew's third surgery. In October of 2018, Drew was away at school at the University of San Francisco, playing baseball. This was a lifelong dream - to go to college and play Division 1 baseball. Unfortunately, he needed to have surgery for a pilonidal cyst. The surgery failed and Drew had to leave school and move back home. In March of 2019, he had still not healed and required a second surgery. A Bascolm Cleft Lift was supposedly performed by a surgeon in our hometown. This was supposed to cure him. This too failed and he started wound care in May of 2019. We were devistated. Finally it became clear that Drew needed to see Dr. Sternberg. Drew had been recommended to him in the very beginning but our insurance would not cover the surgery as Dr. Sternberg was out of network. We were finally able to get our primary doctor to make a referral for a consultation. We were so excited and hopeful. After meeting with Dr. Sternberg we had decided that Drew would have the surgery even if we had to pay for it out of pocket. We felt that strongly that he could help Drew. Our insurance actually approved the surgery - after a fight! We are a full week post surgery and this experience has been amazing. Dr. Sternberg is amazing. If you or a loved one are in this situation, do not let anyone but him operate on you or them. Drew feels like he has his life back. That he will get the opportunity to play college baseball again. This is all because of Dr. Sternberg. The Presidio Surgery Center and Dr. Sternberg's staff are all amazing and helpful. This has been the best experience and we are so grateful.
Audrey L.
Submitted 07/16/19
Before I found Dr. Sternberg, I lived with pilonidal disease for over 15 years. It started as a small bump on my tailbone that I figured happened because of a fall straight on my rear end. I was 12 years old at the time. As I ignored it through my teen years, it would swell and shrink. By the time I was 19, it had grown to the size of a half dollar in diameter, and finally it burst one afternoon. I saw a collection of doctors, having it lanced by a general physician, and even operated on twice by another colon and rectal surgeon. The results always seemed to just get worse, leaving me with a chronically open wound that drained and burst. This was how I lived my life through college and into adulthood. I was constantly working around the drainage and unbearable pain of sitting. I avoided long car trips, amusement park rides, and anything else that became painful. I'd resolved that this was just going to be part of my life I'd have to live around, and continued to do the things that caused pain. My mom would help me clean and bandage the wound twice daily. At 28 years young, I decided there had to be a better solution. That’s when I did some research and I found Dr. Sternberg. After reading his testimonials and seeing the results his patients had gotten with his cleft lift surgery, I had a strong feeling that he finally had the answer. After my first appointment with him, I found out that the previous treatments had in fact made the problem worse, but assuringly, he told me he could fix it. I had my cleft lift procedure 8 months ago, and it’s only gotten better since! I was most amazed by the fact that I was sitting the day of the surgery with no pain. Compared to my past surgeries, this recovery was easy! In the past, the operations I'd had on my tailbone included 6-8 weeks of lying on my side. After my cleft lift procedure, I was back on my feet the same week. I've since resumed exercising, going on trips, sitting in whatever chairs I want, all with zero pain. I was also amazed that the surgery had even hidden some of the previous surgery scaring, and left behind a much smaller scar than before. It used to really bother me not having a solution for this problem, and having to share with others when I had an issue with it. It was a long story! But now that story has gotten so much easier to tell. In fact I share it as often as I can, because I know having a bump on your butt isn't the easiest thing to talk about. When I share my story, I'm sure to shoutout Dr. Sternberg. Thanks to his expertise, I have my life back. I wish I had known about him years ago! That being said… if you have pilonidal disease, don't wait! Come see Dr. Sternberg. You don't have to have had failed treatments to come see him, the earlier the better! He's the best for pilonidal disease. I traveled for my procedure, and I'm glad I did. Thank you Dr. Sternberg. You and your staff made this experience incredible!
Mike V.
Submitted 07/12/19
listen up people never wrote a review Dr. sternberg is the only answer to your pilonidal cyst. he is the best of the best. i had the worst pilonidal cyst you could imagine, and he fixed me. listen to me....he will fix you. i traveled to see this highly skilled surgeon after several failed attempts. it was the best decision of my life. if you want your normal life back and your cyst gone, you will go to dr.sternberg. this surgeon has a "blackbelt" in pilonidal cyst surgery. he is confident, intelligent and has a very high skill set. if there were a mt. rushmore for the best pilonidal cyst surgeons in the country, it would only be four dr. jeffrey sternbergs carved into that granite and thats it. also very impressed with his staff. i asked a million questions and his staff was pleasant and extremely effecient. they answered my first question, and my next 500 questions with the same enthusiasm.
Ethan A.
Submitted 06/26/19
At 15 years old, I felt a bump at the top of my butt crack. I was not sure what it was so I went to our pediatrician. He told me it was hemorrhoids. So for a few months, I treated it as a hemorrhoid. It did not go away. I learned it was Pilonidal Disease. Then I went to a specialist and suffered through two years of procedures. Each procedure made my pilonidal cyst worse. First, I was sent to a dermatologist to laser the area. The dermatologist told me I didn’t need surgery. He cleaned out the cyst and lasered the hair. We were told there was a six week cycle for hair growth. Each time I came back for hair lasering, he cleaned out the cyst and told me it would heal on its own. It did not. More than one and a half years had gone by before any actual surgery was performed to resolve the Pilonidal Disease. I had an operation to remove the pilonidal lesion and the doctor closed it with fibrin glue. The doctor told me that the fibrin glue procedure had a 90% chance of working. A week after the first procedure was done, the cyst become infected and opened up. At no time before or after the fibrin glue procedure was performed did the doctor do a culture of the cyst to see if there was a bacterial infection. I was really upset and started researching procedures used in Pilonidal Disease. I learned at that point fibrin glue procedure is only used in mild cases of Pilonidal Disease. By the time I had the operation with fibrin glue, the Pilonidal Disease had become very aggressive, which caused a second hole to open up. But the doctor reassured me that this procedure was the right one and I should have it done again and he was sure that it would work well for the second time. Once again, the procedure failed and a third hole opened up above my anus. This was even more upsetting to me. I called the doctor and talked to him about what was happening and asked what he planned for the next step to resolve my issues. Since I was so upset, I began researching Pilonidal Disease, the procedures used to treat it, and the doctors that specialized in it. I asked about the Bascom procedure. He warned me that the Bascom procedure was much more invasive. I researched the Bascom method in more detail and then contacted Dr. Bascom himself. He told me the recovery time for the procedure was four weeks and had a very low rate of recurrence. He recommended that I speak to Dr. Sternberg in San Francisco. I spoke to Dr. Sternberg, who was trained by Dr. Bascom, and decided to have the Bascom procedure performed by Dr. Stenberg in San Francisco. Dr. Stenberg told me that the surgery would take about an hour. But after the surgery he told me that due to the advanced progression of the disease in the prior year and a half the surgery and cleanup was much more involved and took three hours. This was primarily due to the development of a large abscess by my anus that had to be repaired during surgery. Even after the first operation, I needed I still had to return to Dr. Stenberg to remove more of the pilonidal cyst. I had three in operations with Dr Stenberg. I am glad to say that I have been free of Pilonidal Disease now for over a year. The four years that I lived with Pilonidal Disease caused me both physical and emotional harm. I had three exit holes in my butt. The smell from the puss that stained my pants was very embarrassing. I had to wear sanitary napkins to high school. At sleep away camp, the other boys found the sanitary napkins and stuck them around my room. I did not ask a girl out on a date in fear of her finding out about this problem. I am glad to say my life is much better now and this unfortunate experience is behind me now. Thank you Dr. Stenberg for freeing me of this pain and embarrassment.
Jackson E.
Submitted 06/18/19
Couldn’t be happier with Dr. Sternberg. He and his staff are second to none. Dr. S has a great bedside manner and takes time to explain when others didn’t seem to know what to do. Andrea and the staff were patient, kind, and very quick to respond to many emails and calls from a worried Mom. I’m so glad we said no to an open wound surgery and made the trip to San Francisco. Parents, if you are considering cleft lift for your child, please look at success rates and recurrence rates and I’m sure you’ll agree that Dr. Sternberg is the right choice.
Lee S.
Submitted 06/12/19
My sixteen year old son had suffered with a pilonidal cyst which, after months of painful treatments and antibiotics, resulted in a traditional cyst removal surgery the first week of his Junior year of high school. After missing weeks of school and his entire football season we discovered that the wound had never healed. Out of desperation we conducted research and found Dr. Sternberg’’s clinic and immediately checked with my family members in the medical field, who indicated that the cleft lift procedure is the gold standard, but difficult to find someone actually skilled. Dr Sternberg is that doctor. We contacted his incredibly professional office staff, who reassured me that we were making a good decision to drive two hours to San Francisco for an exam and found an appointment time right away. A large percentage of Dr. Sternberg’s patients fly in to see him, and he has a comprehensive program to accommodate and educate the patients, which is key to the recovery. After examining my son it was determined that the deep incision had not ever healed and that the cleft lift would not only rectify this problem for good (most people come to him after multiple procedures) but that he would be 100% recovered and ready to participate in basketball and football after only thirty days, as opposed to his previous surgery’s four to six month recovery. My son had surgery and felt good enough to go out to dinner that night (not recommended, but he’s sixteen.) We stayed over night in San Francisco and met with Dr. Sternberg the next day for comprehensive instructions on post-surgery care. Within three days he was back to school, and is now fully recovered and playing sports. This has been an incredible relief for our son, and for us. If we had not found Dr. Sternberg I fear that we would have been in for a lifetime of surgeries and problems. I cannot recommend Dr. Sternberg enough.
Rene D.
Submitted 05/17/19
Almost a year out. Surgery worked. Still a little numb but a worthwhile trade against the problems I had before. The Dr.’s staff is great and very helpful. Living with a pilondial cyst is magnitudes harder than going with Sternberg’s method of surgery. Thank you Dr. Sternberg.
Andre N.
Submitted 05/15/19
Great care. Inspires confidence.
Henry O.
Submitted 04/30/19
Got cut
Carrie Z.
Submitted 04/23/19
I never thought I would see the light at the end of the tunnel, the day I would be healed. After three failed surgeries (one open excision surgery and two failed cleft- lift procedures) and dealing with this never ending nightmare for 4 and a half years, I can say that I am healed and I finally have my life back!! Thank you so much to Dr. Sternberg. He performed a final and SUCCESSFUL cleft- lift procedure. I couldn’t be more grateful for everything he has done for me. He truly cares about his patients! If you have been dealing with the emotional roller coaster of pilonidal disease and failed surgies, please see Dr. Sternberg he is the BEST surgeon out there.