Planning Your Visit to The Sternberg Clinic

Travel for surgery is easy.

The Sternberg Clinic performs most of its surgeries in its hometown city of San Francisco. We recommend you make a vacation out of it. Book an AirBnB or Hotel for a few days before your surgery and tour San Francisco and the beautiful Bay Area. Stay for a few days after surgery to relax in America’s favorite City by the Bay.

Patient Prep:

What to know before your visit

Please send us a concise history of your story (with an emphasis on your pilonidal condition) well in advance of your trip following our instructions on How to Become a Patient. If you have any significant medical issues (e.g. Asthma, high blood pressure, heart issues, kidney issues, obesity, diabetes….) you should have a history and physical exam from your local primary doctor prior to traveling to San Francisco but within one month of your scheduled surgery. Dr. Sternberg’s office will assist your medical clearance if needed. Read more

Plan Your Visit

Three days in San Francisco

Here’s a typical 3-day itinerary for a patient traveling to The Sternberg Clinic for surgery from outside of the San Francisco Bay Area. We recommend you stay in an AirBnb or other short-term residential location so you can recover comfortably after surgery.

Day 1: Arrive and Settle In

Drive or fly in to San Francisco at least one day before your scheduled surgery and meet with Dr. Sternberg and his staff in his office for an in-person consultation. Settle in, explore the city, and sample some of the great local food offerings. The neighborhood near Dr. Sternberg’s office, Fillmore Street in Pacific Heights, has some of the best dining offerings in the city.

Day 2: Outpatient Surgery

Arrive at the scheduled time for your operation at the surgery center. You will meet with one of our preferred anesthesiologists who will be happy to answer any questions that you have. Please keep your cell phone on after leaving the surgery center with your caretaker. Dr. Sternberg will call you several hours after surgery to check on you.

Day 3 on: Rest and Relaxation

Meet with Dr. Sternberg and his team the day after surgery. During this visit, he will go over the drain care with you and your caretaker. Some patients choose to travel home later this day, but it’s always better if you can to spend a few days in San Francisco resting and doing some gentle walking.

Bring a Care Taker

While the aftercare following the Cleft Lift procedure is easy, it’s very difficult to perform the drainage procedure three times a day yourself. It’s best to be accompanied by a “loved one” whom you trust and are not embarrassed to bear your bum to. They should accompany you to the surgery center and the nurses will show them how to take care of the drain. They should also accompany you on your visit with Dr. Sternberg on the day following your surgery.

The drain typically is removed on the 8th day following surgery, so your caretaker will be needed until the drain is removed.

Tips for Navigating San Francisco Safely

No. 1: Don’t Rent a car

San Francisco is an exciting but congested city. Driving and finding and parking can be frustrating and anxiety provoking. Parking is expensive. Unless you are planning an excursion outside of San Francisco proper, please don’t plan to rent a car. San Francisco has a great deal of traffic and there is always a tremendous amount of road construction going on. You would be better off taking a car service such as Lyft or Uber. Yellow cabs are unreliable. If you don’t have these apps on your smart phone please download them before your trip (from your cell phones App Store) and enter your credit card information. Everyone in SF gets around by these cab services.

San Francisco is a beautiful world-class city that has many great sites and neighborhoods to explore. The Pacific Heights neighborhood where Dr. Sternberg’s office is located has some of the best shopping and dining offerings in the city.  Just walk 1 block to Filmore Street.

No. 2: Be Careful When in San Francisco

Unfortunately, San Francisco also has some ugly problems. Homelessness and on-street drug use problems are, quite unfortunately, very visible in San Francisco even in seemingly nice and well-traveled areas.  Use your “street smarts” when navigating around the city. Careful about walking around Union Square and Market Street or through a neighborhood called the tenderloin.

No. 3: If you do Drive, Caution

If you do rent a car for out of town excursions, please don’t leave anything exposed in your car! No luggage, purses, gym bags, sunglasses….. San Francisco, unfortunately, is the “break my car window and grab my bag” capital of north America. We don’t want you to be a victim.

Also, please be advised that travel distances in the Bay Area don’t correspond with your anticipated driving times.  A few miles can take eternity in traffic, so please use apps such as Waze or Google to predict how long your travel will take.

We hope that your experience in San Francisco is a good one.  Please don’t hesitate to check in with us and ask our advice.

Patient Testimonials: The Blog

Read success stories from surgery patients

This Procedure Has Truly Changed My Life
I had the cleft lift procedure from Dr. Sternberg in May of …
No More Fear of Flare-Ups
It has been approximately six months since the surgery, and I have …
Make the Cleft Lift Procedure Your First Choice of Surgery
So, you develop a symptomatic pilonidal “cyst” (really an abscess), or sinus …
What Medical Care Can Look Like at its Best
My experience with Dr. Sternberg and his team from the beginning was …

Did Dr. Sternberg treat your pilonidal disease? Submit a Patient Testimonial