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

34 total reviews

Dr. Jeffrey A. Sternberg always appreciates feedback from his valued patients. To date, we’re thrilled to have collected 34 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.

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!!
Leslie B.
Submitted 07/12/18
My 18 year old son had suffered with pilonidal disease for nearly three years. He had not had any previous surgeries but dealt with a constantly draining pilonidal sinus. We flew from Florida to San Francisco for Dr. Jeffrey Sternberg to perform the cleft lift surgery. Dr. Sternberg’s knowledge, expertise, experience, education were unparalleled and we knew he was the best physician in the country for this surgery. Dr. Sternberg performed the cleft lift surgery in the morning and we were back in our hotel by noon. After the surgery, Dr. Sternberg shared with me that my son had a large abscess, was not an easy surgery, and that was why the surgery went a little longer than expected but not to worry that it was all fine. That was when I was incredibly grateful that he was the under the care of Dr. Sternberg and we went to the effort to come to San Francisco. In the evening, we get a call from Dr. Sternberg asking how he was doing and feeling. First, we couldn’t believe that the surgeon actually called, and second, my son was doing fantastic. Before this horrible pilonidal disease, my son was a competitive tennis player that traveled for tournaments and had a bright future. Unfortunately, over these past two years, he quit competing, essentially never picked up a tennis racquet and gained a lot of weight. This disease destroyed him. One month later, after zero complications, my son is back on the tennis courts and now is working as a teaching pro! We would have never imagined that quick of a recovery. He is pain free, no drainage, back exercising and very, very happy and about to leave for college. And it is all thanks to Dr. Sternberg!!! I cannot stress enough to pick the right surgeon. We went to numerous doctor appointments, did A LOT of research and knew that no one compared to Dr. Sternberg. He is a phenomenal surgeon and THE one to go to for anyone suffering with pilonidal disease!!
Amanda W.
Submitted 05/04/18
I am about one year post-op from my cleft lift surgery with Dr. Sternberg. To be honest, I thought all surgeons were the same after my first failed operation. I suffered with my pilondial cyst for over a year. It all started on a road trip from Michigan to California. Just as I was approaching San Francisco (little did I know at the time - Dr. Sternberg was located there), I was in excruciating pain. I had no idea what it was (I thought it was a hemorrhoid at first). I finally drove myself to an urgent care only an hour from SF in Santa Rosa because I could no longer walk. I had the cyst drained and the doctor pretty much told I'd likely need surgery if I didn't want it to return. I ended up flying back to Michigan (where I'm from) to have the operation there. I knew nothing about pilondial disease - I had literally never heard of such a thing. I was a young, happy, care free 20-something year old and did not do the research I should have before allowing someone to operate on me. I went to a general surgeon in Lapeer, MI who took one glance at me and told me I needed surgery and that he would stitch it up but there was a HIGH chance it would return. What the heck is the point of the surgery if there is an extremely high chance it's going to return? I didn't know any alternatives at the time, so went forward with it. I had the surgery and 3 weeks later moved back to NYC. I suffered that entire year. I couldn't sit for long periods of time, there was a tiny pin sized hole that never stopped draining, I never felt 100% great, and worst of all I couldn't exercise like I used to. I finally went back to MI to see my surgeon 6 months later who told me that the hole would heal and he didn't think it would come back. I ended up moving out to SF March of last year and finally made myself an apt to see Dr Sternberg. When I went to see him, I was extremely emotional after dealing with this for over a year and (as you could imagine) very upset when he told me I'd likely need another operation. I ended up not scheduling my surgery for a month or two because I was in denial. The cyst ended up returning and I knew this was going to be the only chance I had to get rid of it for good. I was so nervous to have the operation (since it is a bit more extensive than my little cut & stitch it up that did nothing for me) and Dr. Sternberg was SO patient with me. I had a million questions and was so annoying looking back! Even with an office full of patients, he went out of his way to answer every question I had and assured me that this was going to be the answer. The operation went well and I was back on my feet within a few weeks. I never even ended up taking the pain meds (but I wouldn't recommend that considering I was in some pain post-op for a few days). I cannot put into words how grateful I am to have my normal life back. I'm back to the gym, running, biking (all of the things I loved) and I owe it all to Dr. Sternberg. He literally gave me my life back. If you are suffering with this, please know that there is an answer! Dr. Sternberg is an expert in this. If you are suffering, please go see him!!!
Mollie M.
Submitted 04/23/18
This will be a very long story-review. It is needed to know the full effect of what pilonidal disease will do to someone and how life-changing Dr. Sternberg's procedure is. I have suffered with pilonidal disease for about the last two years. The first couple times it became inflamed, it was extremely painful but the acute exacerbation resolved itself both times. During these shorter exacerbations, I researched pilonidal disease and self-diagnosed my problem. I even read about Dr. Sternberg on a pilonidal disease forum. I had a friend previously who had a conventional surgical treatment for pilonidal disease and he had a terrible experience with a big hunk of tissue removed from his tailbone area. Dr. Sternberg's technique seemed a lot different from that, but I decided that mine wasn't so bad and I didn't need any surgical intervention so I moved on with my life. It wasn't until I was on vacay with my hubby in Ireland, June-July 2017, that it became inflamed and infected to the point of needing to go to the hospital! I was in so much pain I could barely walk or move and definitely couldn't sit without excruciating pain. I went to the A&E in Northern Ireland (the bright side of this story is that I got to experience a health care system other than the U.S... A long wait, standing for 3 hrs because I couldn't sit, in the A&E but no bill, no cost whatsoever. That was a shocker!). Anyway, the multiple providers I saw confirmed what I had already suspected, I had a pilonidal abscess. They wanted to do an incision and drainage procedure which would mean wound packing and staying in one Ireland location for at least 5-7 days (THE REMAINDER OF OUR VACATION). I opted out of this, they gave me antibiotics and pain medication and sent me on my way but insisted that I saw someone about the problem upon returning to the U.S., it was going to come back eventually. 'Ok, Ok, I will' I thought. The antibiotics did the trick and I was feeling better after a couple days. My husband and I made the most of the rest of our trip and came home. After returning home, I was feeling fine and of course I didn't bother going to see anyone about my pilonidal disease. Then... The week leading up to Thanksgiving 2017, my monster reared its ugly head again. I was down for the count. I was in so much pain I couldn't even sleep, I woke up one night feeling terrible, I almost thought I was septic. I went to an urgent care clinic the next day and pleaded with the NP to not do the incision and drainage that she wanted to do. I promised that I would go see the surgeon I had previously read about. She gave me antibiotics and pain meds and I called Dr. Sternberg's clinic that same day. Thankfully, I already live near the SF Bay Area and would not have to travel too far to see him. I got an appt for a consultation in January. Ok... I just have to be really careful and hope and pray that it doesn't get so bad again before January. Not to mention I was starting a new job as an RN at a hospital in January! I constantly had to sit sideways, alternating butt cheeks, sat on a neck pillow in the car on my way to and from work, I was miserable. I would feel it occasionally ramp up like it was going to get really bad, then it would go away...My consultation comes, I am a good candidate for the cleft lift surgery, YAY! Surgery won't happen until March, ughhh :-( I wait another miserable 2 months, unable to sit like a normal human being, having a constantly irritated tailbone area, and the ever-lingering threat of an infective assault on my body. Finally March is here! I'm excited and nervous of course. I stay the night in the city with my mom who is also an RN and will be my wound-care nurse after surgery. Surgery is bright and early, the surgery center was wonderful. Dr. Sternberg was always positive, smiling, and assured me that all would be great. The surgery went well, I went back to the hotel and did homework for my online BSN I am obtaining, hopped up on pain meds but I still got A's on my assignments ;-) The day after surgery I had a post-op follow-up appt and Dr. Sternberg taught my mom how to care for the incision and drain. Drain out 6 days later. I am now a little more than 5 weeks post-op and I am fantastic!! I am SOOO happy I chose to go to Dr. Sternberg. Changed my life forever. Thank you Dr. Sternberg!!
Patrick A.
Submitted 04/16/18
After dealing with a pilonidal cyst for over a year, Dr.Sternberg recommended I get a cleft lift. 6 weeks after the surgery, I'm completely healed and I can finally exercise as much as I'd like! Dr.Sternberg has a great bed side manor, and I would highly recommend seeing him if you're suffering from any of the issues he specializes in.
Sam B.
Submitted 03/19/18
I had the cleft lift done back on January 10th of this year and I could not be happier! After 4 failed surgeries and multiple visits to wound care "specialists" I found Dr. Sternberg online and decided it was time to go to San Fran. He was extremely professional, outgoing and kind and made the whole process very easy. Fast forward to now and I am completely healed and back to all activities before this whole thing started. I am so thankful for Dr. Sternberg and his whole team for helping me get rid of this problem.
Jack B.
Submitted 02/05/18
So far, my cleft lift seems to have been accomplished with a minimal amount of pain by a team of true professionals. At every stage: scheduling, pre-surgery, surgical visit, and follow-ups - they listened, they gave advice, and they guided us through an anxious time. I must say, though, I was never afraid because Dr Sternberg always seemed fully committed and knowledgeable about the procedure. I am greatly relieved that I had this procedure done before making any other drastic moves in regard to pilonidal disease. A lot of doctors (including my former primary care) couldn't even correctly identify the disease, let alone prescribe an efficient and effective treatment. If you have the means, turn to the Sternberg Clinic. If you're unsure if you have the means, reach out anyway and they will offer you the best advice and help possible
Carla S.
Submitted 11/04/17
If you have a pilonodal cyst DO NOT GO TO ANYONE ELSE. Dr. S is not only incredibly professional, but his techniques and methodology are the most current and least invasive on your life. I can't stress this enough - had I gone to him first (had I known of him then) I would have saved 3 years, 4 surgeries, hours and hours of doctor and hospital visits and most importantly my confidence and sanity. He even still checks in with me years later to ensure that I am still doing well. He worked with my local doctor post-op to ensure I was getting proper care. He is what other doctors should aspire to be.
Michele D.
Submitted 10/27/17
My son had 2 previous and unsuccessful surgeries to remove the "cyst" near his tailbone. When the Dr told us he needed a third surgery I wanted a second opinion. I researched Pilonidal disease and Dr Sternberg's name kept coming up. I called his office and explained my sons situation and they saw us right away. We were able to scheduled the surgery quickly and were given all the necessary information. The surgery was a complete success and the recovery was shorter than the previous surgeries. Dr Sternberg and his staff were great! They took time to explain everything and make sure my son was comfortable about the procedure. I wish I found Dr Sternberg years ago and my son would have had a much different experience with Pilonidal disease. I can't thank dr Sternberg and his staff enough for the excellent care they provided.
Alex S.
Submitted 10/16/17
I am grateful to the doctor Jeffrey Sternberg for his professionalism. for his tremendous intuition and desire to help the patient. A few years ago he saved my life by doing a complicated operation to remove rectal cancer. After the operation, every year I am examined by a doctor and feel his care for the patient. Thank you doctor!
Susan S.
Submitted 10/05/17
Dr. Sternberg is a PHENOMENAL surgeon with the highest credentials, tremendous experience with pilonidal disease, and a heart of gold for his patients. My son had suffered from pilonidal disease for 6 ½ years and had 4 previous failed surgeries. Three different surgeons (one operated on him twice) told us that the only means of healing a "pilonidal cyst" was open or closed excision. They collectively removed increasing amounts of internal gluteal tissue and each surgery took months to heal, would never remain healed, and the surgeons' responses were always that the tract must not have been completely removed and that they needed to perform another surgery to remove more tissue. Not only did the procedures these surgeons employed not heal my son of pilonidal disease but, in fact, the surgeries created wounds that worsened his conditioned. The purpose in leaving the wound unsutured in open excision is so that the wound is able to heal from the inside out. In the final two of my son’s open excision surgeries we paid for the aid of professional wound care centers to assure that happened. The wound care physicians could heal the wounds temporarily but they always reopened at the slightest provocation even after twenty-four 2 hour sessions in a hyperbaric chamber. My son lost the ability to play intramural sports in college, missed out on numerous social events while he was recovering from surgery and wounds were unhealed, experienced continual pain, and suffered from the embarrassment of draining wounds that stained his clothes. We finally began searching for an expert surgeon anywhere in the United States for pilonidal disease. We would have traveled anywhere in the world. It was through that search that we found Dr. Sternberg, an expert in healing pilonidal disease. Dr. Sternberg gave us information that shed light on years’ worth of confusion, frustration, and heartache. He gave us a detailed description of pilonidal disease and its causes. He explained the cleft lift procedure that he performs thoroughly in words, text, and with photos and diagrams. He explained exactly what to expect after surgery and taught us in numerous ways how to care for our son’s surgical drain post-surgery. And Dr. Sternberg was communicative throughout the entire process. He called us before we flew to San Francisco, met with us the day before surgery, met with us the day of surgery both before and after, called us the evening of surgery to check on our son, and met with us the day after surgery to assure that we understood how to care for the surgical drain and to see that our son was doing well before we flew home, over 2,000 miles away. None of our other surgeons had come close to offering this type of explanation, communication, and care. In addition, Dr. Sternberg remained available to answer any question that we had once we returned home. I realize now that not only did our son have physical wounds from pilonidal disease and 4 failed surgeries, but our family had emotional wounds from the suffering that the experience of 6 ½ years had brought. Through Dr. Sternberg’s knowledge of pilonidal disease, expertise in an effective surgical procedure to heal it, compassion in listening and responding to our many questions, and continued support throughout our son’s recovery, he has not just healed our son but he has healed our family. I am forever grateful for Dr. Sternberg who exemplifies in every possible measure all that is good in not only the health care profession but humanity as a whole. I truly cannot give him high enough praises. As a mother who was the primary caregiver for a son who suffered with pilonidal disease for years, I implore you to seek his help. We flew from the East to the West Coast to see him and we are only sorry that we did not do it sooner. Thank you, Dr. Sternberg, for giving our son his life back!!!