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!
– Austin S.
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