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

30 total reviews

Dr. Jeffrey A. Sternberg always appreciates feedback from his valued patients. To date, we’re thrilled to have collected 30 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.

Rachel P.
Submitted 02/11/19
I saw Dr. Sternberg for a cleft lift in November of 2018. He and his staff made the process as easy as possible - helping me figure out where to stay since I was coming in from Georgia, working with me on scheduling so that I could minimize my time off of work, and helping me when insurance issues popped up. Dr. Sternberg has answered every question I've had post-surgery, and I could not recommend him more highly. I'm very thankful to have this problem behind me (pardon the pun). My pilonidal flare-ups used to happen with even a 3-hour car ride. Two months post-surgery, my wife and I drove 15 hours in one day to get to Texas for a friends' wedding without issue, without fear, and without pain.
Alex S.
Submitted 02/09/19
He operated me to remove colon cancer. It was a difficult case since I was after a massive heart attack. He did everything as carefully as possible. I think he saved my life for what I am grateful to him. Always with a smile he gives hope to patients. Thank you doctor.
Boris G.
Submitted 01/02/19
I struggled with Pilonidal disease from when I was 19 until I was 25 (last year). I had many flare ups over the years that left me bed-ridden for weeks on end. I finally had enough and decided to research the best way to get rid of the condition for good. That's when I stumbled upon many people recommending Dr. Sternberg. Dr. Sternberg explained the whole procedure to me and made me feel very comfortable. I got the surgery and recovery was surprisingly very easy and quick. It's been over a year and I rarely even think of the condition I had anymore, as it is now cured for good. If you have Pilonidal disease, I would highly recommend for you to speak with Dr. Sternberg. He will explain what you are dealing with, the solution to this issue, how surgery is done, costs, flights, etc. All of this makes you know exactly what you are getting into, and makes you feel very comfortable. I can't thank Dr. Sternberg enough for allowing me to live my life without worrying about this annoying condition. Boris Glamocak - Toronto, Canada.
Heather N.
Submitted 01/01/19
When my 17 yr old son was diagnosed with Pilonidal disease I spent hours researching surgeons. I chose a highly reputable surgeon yet did not realize the importance of searching outside of my very large network of doctors in the Silicon Valley. We had faith in our first surgeon but wish that we would have known about Dr. Sternberg from the beginning. The first surgery left a 3.5 x 1.5 inch open cavity down my son’s butt crack that had to be packed by me 3 times daily for at least 2 weeks that turned to twice daily for 6 months. The cavity got smaller but never closed and continued to drain. Our first surgeon seemed to be out of town whenever I had concerns, home health care was never set up prior to our surgery and his on call doctor made my son feel like he had been raped with pain by poking around in the severely sensitive opening. Our experience seemed like a neverending nightmare. After 6 months postsurgery, I went to another surgeon for a second opinion about his recovery that I was questioning. She immediately said that he needed a second surgery and had heard of amazing things about Dr. Sternberg and his Cleft Lift Surgery at Professional meetings. She called Dr. Sternberg and the office got us in the next day. My son and I were very nervous about going through another horrible surgery that followed months of severe pain and care. Dr. Sternberg reassured us that this was a much easier recovery and provides 100% recovery. We even tried to put it off, but the pain and leaking became unbearable for my son who was a Senior in High School and wanted to make the most of his last basketball season. The office worked closely with our calendar on scheduling the surgery. Dr. Sternberg and staff answered every question I had with patience and even answered my emails. They also took exceptional care of us when we went in for follow up visits. They made us feel like family. Dr Sternberg and his staff really changed our lives and gave us hope and now has given us freedom from pilonidal disease. He really does exemplify in every possible measure all that is good in the health care profession and is just a wonderful person. If you are considering whether it is worth flying or driving far to see Dr. Sternberg, please stop procrastinating. He will save you time, money and much grief over the long haul. Especially for parents, thinking about their kid’s recovery. This disease is horrible on a kid’s self-esteem! I really hope that more primary care doctors can find out more about this clinic and procedure so that they will properly refer their patients. This disease is very common but poorly misunderstood in the medical community and is not treated correctly. Dr. Sternberg is incredibly experienced and is the only person you should see. I am forever grateful for the wonderful care we received.
Raina M.
Submitted 12/27/18
I had been suffering with Pilonidal Disease for three years. Not knowing much about the disease and how difficult it is to treat, I immediately went into my first operation after spending a few visits with my normal practitioner. They directed me to a local surgeon and told me they would fix the issue and I wouldn’t have to worry about it ever again. In December 2017, my first surgery took place and that is when things went downhill. My incision was very loosely sewn up after the operation, and no drain tube was inserted. I dealt with the incision for five months that popped open on its own and continued to drain and bleed daily, until I was rushed into an emergency surgery in May 2018. During my second surgery, a Wound Specialist at a highly reputable hospital in Colorado operated on me and claimed that he would take better care of me. After waking up from this surgery, I had a much larger incision with several layers of stitches and a drain tube. My surgeon promised me I would never deal with this again. I believed him until two days later I ended up in the Emergency Room with a fever of 102 degrees and a large infection in the surgical area. My incision had opened up AGAIN. Even with all of the layers of stitches. This resulted in me driving over an hour round trip every week to go visit the wound care center to have my wound flushed, cleaned and drained properly. I did this for months and things kept getting worse and worse. By the end of summer, I was back where I started, but things were even worse than before I ever got operated on. I started to wish I never went through with any operation and just dealt with the pain from the cyst. With undergoing two major operations, I had tons of scar tissue that ached when I sat down, and I couldn’t even lay on my back or sleep through a full night without tossing and turning or waking up due to pain. I became extremely depressed due to these circumstances and was under the impression I was going to deal with this disease for the rest of my life and never see a cure. Towards the end of summer, I came across Dr. Sternberg and his clinic in San Francisco. I used to read a blog post consisting of members that all had Pilonidal Disease, and one person swore by the Sternberg Clinic and claimed that they were 100% cured after trying everything else possible. I started to do more research and got to the point where I figured, why not? The least I can do is give them a try. I contacted the clinic, sent in my background with my cysts, and heard back very shortly. By September 2018, I was traveling to California with plans to undergo my third, and final surgery. This ended up being the best decision I have ever made in my life. Words can’t even express how thankful I am to have come across the Sternberg Clinic and to have taken a chance with Dr. Sternberg when I had my hopes let down twice by previous doctors. Dr. Sternberg is extremely intelligent regarding this topic, and I wish I had come across him years ago. If you are on the edge with this operation because you live out of state, I HIGHLY recommend that you take the time and the money to visit this clinic; they are the only people who will be able to treat you of this terrible disease. When Dr. Sternberg conducted my surgery, he came across a giant, infected mass that was caused by my two previous surgeries and he safely removed it and closed up my incision beautifully. Four months later, I am completely healed, can sleep on my back, can sit with no pain and can even work out with no issues whatsoever. My incision is fully closed, doesn’t drain or leak and it will never open back up. I even had one of the more severe cases, and I am 100% healed up thanks to Dr. Sternberg and I will never have to deal with this again. It doesn’t even seem real to me and I feel extremely lucky to even say this. Yes, the surgery was intense, and the recovery wasn’t a breeze, but I would do it all over again just to feel the way I do now. I am forever grateful for Dr. Sternberg and his employees because I am now able to live a normal, pain free life and put my past behind me. Everyone was super kind, extremely informative and you can tell they care about your well-being and just want you to be healed. He has conducted thousands of these surgeries and they have all been successful. Anyone out there that is dealing with this terrible disease should avoid the same mistakes I made and go see Dr. Sternberg the first time around because he is an expert in this field and he will take amazing care of you. The entire process was extremely easy even though I was traveling from out of town. Most of his patients are people traveling and they keep that in mind with scheduling and will make it a breeze for you. Within three days, I had my pre-op, surgery, and post-op and was on my way home a few days later. Do not make my mistake and do the right thing the first time around! Doctor Sternberg will take AMAZING care of anyone who has to deal with this terrible disease. I will forever be grateful for him.
Elizabeth W.
Submitted 12/07/18
This review is long overdue. We waited almost a year to make sure everything was alright with our son and getting over the trauma of the experience. I have to thank Dr. Sternberg and staff for all they did for him!!! Jacob went through so much from from August of 2016 to February of 2018 with the worst pain and embarrassment. Basically missed his senior year of high school due to his cyst and botched surgery in November of 2017. He ended up with a very resistant bacterial infection and had to be on iv antibiotics for several weeks prior to surgery on the recommendation and direction of Dr. Sternberg, who performed a very successful second surgery. Our son was a very difficult case and I have to say you can't go wrong with him, he is truly a magician!!
Ryan N.
Submitted 11/08/18
I have had multiple appointments and meetings with Dr. Sternberg since 2014, when I was first diagnosed with pilonidal disease. The first time I met Dr. Sternberg was during my initial “flare up” on my pilonidal cyst. I had gone to the ER, which refused to drain an abscess they were unfamiliar with, then proceeded to go to colorectal doctor in San Jose, who also refused to drain the abscess due to it “not being ready”. A few days later I was in Dr. Sternberg’s office, he immediately drained the abscess and discussed my long term option for pilonidal disease. He was extremely professional and left me feeling that I had reasonable options to deal with this disease. Following the initial draining, I had no issues or flare ups for two full years. By the time another occurred I had already moved out of the bay area and was lucky enough to find a physician who drained the abscess twice. After having have a constantly draining cyst for nearly 8-months, I contacted Dr. Sternberg again to set up a Cleft Lift surgery consultation. The consultation was straightforward, a review of my particular case and setting a date for the surgery, this was all done quickly. The front office staff (Andrea & Emon) where absolutely incredible working with me. They helped me schedule each appointment, surgery and post-op with Dr. Sternberg. In addition, they worked with me on my insurance (which refused to cover the out of network surgery) and gave me all the details of the surgical cost, out-patient facility cost and anesthesia cost. While I did pay out of pocket, they helped me understand my payment options and timing. They answered every question I had or directed my questions to Dr. Sternberg who responded quickly. Surgery day came around and I found myself at Presidio Surgery Center first thing on a Tuesday morning. The outpatient surgery center was professional, clean, quick and responded to all my inquiries within a reasonable time. I was pretty comfortable during my time there. They have nurses who take care of each step to prepare you for surgery. Prior to going into the operation room, I met quickly with the anesthesiologist (who was awesome) and Dr. Sternberg. I was able to get any last minute nervous questions out before the surgery. The surgery itself was a total blur, depending on your case you may go under full anesthesia or (what I believe is more common) get a spinal block. For me, this was the most nerve racking part. Do yourself a favor and don’t YouTube spinal blocks, just read about them. Mine was totally painless, prior to getting the shot itself, my anesthesiologist gave me what he called “surgical Gatorade”, which was really a shot into my IV that made me a bit light headed and definitely sucked the nerves away. I don’t even remember the actual spinal block. Next thing I know, I wake up in the post op recovery room. I felt pretty good, only concerning part of waking up was the numbness in my legs (spinal block) which took about an hour to go away. I was able to walk with no problems and had very minimal pain. I had a post op the next day with Dr. Sternberg where we went through the recovery process and steps to take to ensure proper healing (a boatload of gauze pads, paper tape and “rolling the flap”). For me, the recovery process was nearly painless (or at least a 100% less painful than having an active pilonidal cyst). You go through lots of gauze and tape, the rolling of the flap does not hurt significantly, more or less feels like pushing on a bruise. I was essentially given an antibiotic (for the open wound/surgical site/potential infection etc.), ibuprofen for swelling and a narcotic for pain. You are required to finish the antibiotic and ibuprofen, but take the narcotic as needed. I think I took 3 OxyContin pills in total and never more than ½ at a time, I’m also a pretty big dude, so I clearly wasn’t in a ton of pain. I encourage everyone to destroy (ask your pharmacist how) narcotic pills once you are no longer using them for this surgeries pain management, those things are no joke. The longest portion of the recovery was the drain hole, which took about 3-4 weeks to close up after the drain was removed. I am now approximately 50 days clear of surgery, everything is closed and healed up. In fact, I was able to start power lifting, biking and running at about day 40 (would have been earlier but I was waiting for the drain hole to close). I feel amazing, no pain, a little numbness, but pretty dang good. I can sit for long periods, put weight on my tail bone and no longer worry about a long flight or car ride. I highly encourage anyone suffering from pilonidal disease to reach out to the Sternberg Clinic, they have honestly changed my life.
Rhodri W.
Submitted 10/31/18
I had a cleft lift done by Dr. Sternberg in September of this year. I flew to San Fransisco all the way from Canada because of his stellar reputation and how helpful his staff had been to me even just on the phone as I navigated the difficulties of living with pilonidal. Even though I had to pay out of pocket and give up (free) surgery in Canada, it was worth every penny to access care that would allow me to return to my highly active lifestyle and career as a forest firefighter and muay thai athlete. I couldn't believe how little pain I experienced during my recovery and how fast it went, when I had read of others spending months in agony only to have their pilonidal return. Thank you Dr. Sternberg for solving my pilonidal disease once and for all! It was such a relief to receive the treatment that you and all your wonderful staff gave me!
Eric V.
Submitted 10/18/18
Dr Sternberg is the greatest! My son had to two ER drains for his back pilo cyst over a 6 month period. Nobody locally truly knew what to do to get it to stop. Finally a surgeon heard about Dr S and sent us down for a consultation. Just a few weeks later he has had surgery and back to playing basketball at 100% healthy! Dr S was also great at communicating with us and being available. I'm so glad we found him and my son is forever grateful!
Austin B.
Submitted 10/02/18
My life had come to a sudden halt when my ARMY recruiter told my I MUST get rid of that tiny opening just under my tail bone or their was no way I was going to make it through MEPS and unfortunatley get disqualified. At that point in time i had no idea what this tiny opening even was, so after some research and disappointing news I figured the only way was through surgery... so I had scheduled an appointment with a local surgeon who knew this operation "well". He operated and I had high hopes that i was going be good and I even let my recruiter know that I the operation was performed and I will be ok. It was the operation you hear about most online, cut you open, remove infection, leave wound open and pack it each day for like a good month and a half in hopes it will close. This is a tedious process that has a low success rate and its really hard to keep clean. A month off of work I headed back still with a open wound and the simple act of walking would cause my skin to chafe like I was at the beach all day. I felt no recovery and I was extremely disappointed with the result and at this point getting quite nervous with the military. Two months later no progress... With more research I came across Dr. Sternberg's website and checked out his operation and saw that he deals with this infection a different way and he has PROOF, before and after photos of how he does things. My hope had grown back, but their was one draw back I live in Florida and the good Dr. Sternberg was all the way in San Francisco. So two painful flights later I landed in the Bay with high hopes. I met Dr. Sternberg and quite happy with how it went I showed him the infection and he examined it for a second and then said, "yeah.. I can fix this". The infection was pretty bad too but he was not fazed in the slightest. He truly is the best in world for this operation. Post operation and two more flights back to Florida and a month on recovery I have gone back to running and working out and can proudly say the ARMY is now back on top I'll be joining very soon! I went from barley being able to walk and my future being shattered to running and my life being put back on track. If you have this same infection and your looking for some security in getting rid of this problem this IS your solution. Thank God for Dr. Sternberg and his amazing team and God Bless. GO ARMY, BEAT NAVY!!!!
Kim B.
Submitted 09/17/18
Dr. Sternberg is the most knowledgeable Doctor on the subject of pilonidal disease. My son had been referred to a general surgeon by our family doctor. The surgeon removed so much tissue that the wound was not healing. We were referred to a wound care clinic who told us that we should get evaluated by Dr. Sternberg. It was the best decision we made. Dr. Sternberg gave us superior care and did a Cleft lift on my son. The recovery was 4 weeks and my son was back to full contact sports (he is a collegiate athlete). Many thanks to Dr. Sternberg and his staff.
Jill V.
Submitted 08/31/18
I am extremely impressed with the professionalism as well as the kindness that Dr. Sternberg and his staff has shown me. He explains everything in detail which gave me great confidence going into surgery. Although the written instructions were helpful, having an appointment the day after surgery with my caretaker was essential for my piece of mind. Dr. Sternberg is a patient surgeon who cares about his patients from start to finish. I would recommend Dr. Sternberg to anyone who has pilonidal disease.
Jill V.
Submitted 08/30/18
Dr. Sternberg is an attentive, patient, through surgeon. He explained everything in advance, sent us home with instructions and even scheduled time the day after surgery for my husband to learn how to take care of me. He checked in with me throughout the next few months. When I fell and injured the incision area, he and his staff's kindness and compassion put my mind at ease. I am happy to say that 5 months after surgery I was back practicing boat pose (yoga). I feel blessed to have found Dr. Sternberg and highly recommend him.
Patricia H.
Submitted 08/29/18
If I could give Dr. Sternberg 1,000 stars, I would. My son has been suffering with pilonidal cysts for 4 years. It's been awful. We finally got referred to Dr. Sternberg. My son had a cleft lift and now our 4 year nightmare is over. I could not be more grateful to have found Dr. Sternberg.
Alex P.
Submitted 08/17/18
I could not have asked for a better experience. Dr. Sternberg is such a nice person, and his staff were so friendly and helpful. I had an unsuccessful surgery for pilonidal disease back home, and I decided to visit Dr. Sternberg to get it taken care of once and for all. Best decision I could have made. The surgery went smoothly and the recovery was simple (much simpler than my first surgery). Very little pain after the surgery (other than a bit of soreness in the immediate aftermath of the surgery, but that quickly passed). This problem is now taken care of for me. If you have pilonidal disease, Dr. Sternberg is the person you need to see. He explained the mistakes that other surgeons make and gave me details on how he was going to get this done. Everything went exactly as we planned it. Thank you, Dr. Sternberg! I truly appreciate your professionalism and dedication to treating pilonidal disease.
Jack B.
Submitted 08/13/18
Visiting Dr. Sternberg's clinic was the best decision I could have made regarding pilonidal disease. I'd seen a few other doctors in my local area, whose expertise ran the gamut from not even being able to identify my problem (even after I told them what I thought it was) to having limited experience with actually treating it in the most advanced way. I'd read so many horror stories about people who had painful procedures that never ended up fixing the problem that I was almost scared into the cleft lift procedure. I am privileged in that I lived in the same state as the Sternberg Clinic and had the means to visit and have the procedure. But it was worth the expense. It was a mostly painless experience, and everyone at the Clinic was professional, friendly, and responsive. They are the best at what they do, and the procedure went off without a hitch. It's been over six months now, and there hasn't been any hint of recurrence. If you have the means but are still on the fence about the cleft lift procedure with Dr. Sternberg, believe the good stories.
Matt C.
Submitted 08/05/18
Dr. Sternberg’s (and staff) care and expertise was nothing short of life changing. I’ll save some of the details of my pilonidal disease prior to my procedure with Dr. Sternberg, but I will mention that my disease progressed slowly over a very long period of time, and thus became somewhat easy to, at least, tolerate. I had read horror stories of botched surgeries, open wounds, and daunting recoveries. As a result, I was very reluctant to undergo surgery and simply tried to ignore all of my issues. Ultimately, I discovered Dr. Sternberg and the cleft lift procedure as an alternative treatment for pilonidal disease. I had consulted another surgeon, and could immediately recognize Dr. Sternberg’s expertise through his knowledgeable and concise description of my specific case and possible treatment. He recognized what other medical professionals did wrong in the horror stories that scared me so much, and assured me that the treatment he provided and my recovery would be much more manageable. Even that was an understatement! The surgery itself was very easy for me (obviously), I was anesthetized and only remember waking up in recovery. I was back in action after just a few days, and back on a plane a little over a week after surgery. Dr. Sternberg and his staff were incredibly helpful throughout the process, from initial consultation to recovery and follow-up. After my procedure I was able to see how much my pilonidal disease was impacting my life on a day to day basis, and it is massively improved. If you are hesitant to treat your pilonidal disease because of gruesome stories about other options, I urge you to trust Dr. Sternberg’s capabilities and get your life back. I’m incredibly grateful to him and his team!
Dillon S.
Submitted 08/05/18
I have been feeling great since the cleft lift procedure. The incision healed nicely within a couple of weeks of the surgery, and the scar has not been painful. It is so nice not to have to bandage myself every morning to keep pus and blood from potentially ruining my clothing. I have also enjoyed being able to work out without the sharp pains I had previously experienced because of my pilonidal issue. There is no sign of the pilonidal problem recurring. I am so glad I found you for this surgery! I hardly even think of the days when I was dealing with pain, infections, and drainage almost daily. Thank you very much.
Cooper T.
Submitted 07/30/18
Dr. Sternberg is a saint. He's a world-class surgeon and probably the nicest doctor I've ever met as well. I never had a doubt that Dr. Sternberg had my best interests in mind the whole way through. If you're having pilonidal cyst issues, Dr. Sternberg is the man to see. He solved my problem with the pilonidal cleft lift procedure after years of other doctors failing to fix the issue. Couldn't recommend more.
Laura B.
Submitted 07/13/18
Do not look any further! I found Dr. Sternberg on the internet while desperately searching for a cure for pilonidal disease after my son’s 3 failed surgeries within 2 years. The past two years of my son’s life has been on hold because of this frustrating condition. General surgeons and even colorectal surgeons do not have the expertise and training with the special cleft lift procedure that Dr Sternberg performs. We traveled to San Francisco from Texas and we would do it again in a heartbeat. My son is one month post op and has resumed all normal activities, the first time in TWO YEARS!! The recovery was unbelievably easy compared to the past surgeries and Dr Sternberg‘s care and concern for his patients goes above and beyond any I have ever experienced. He has checked in on my son weekly and if I ever have any questions or concerns he responds immediately. Please, please don’t waste your time or $$ going somewhere else. Thank you, Dr. Sternberg, for giving my son his life back!!