Patient success stories
Hear from the people who overcame pilonidal disease with help from Dr. Jeffrey Sternberg and The Sternberg Clinic of San Francisco.
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Browse All Testimonials and Patient Stories
This has been a difficult eight months for all of us. The time has been particularly challenging for patients with Pilonidal Disease, particularly those who must to travel outside of their local medical community to find a surgeon who can provide proper treatment. Finding a Seasoned Surgeon There are just a few surgeons who performContinue reading “Patient Prep: Traveling to San Francisco for Pilonidal care during COVID-19”
Dr. Sternberg saved my son from years of problems and potential surgeries! He is an amazing doctor and we feel so fortunate to have been referred to him. My 16-year-old son had pilonidal disease and was treated at Urgent Care because we did not know what it was and it was bad enough that heContinue reading “‘The “Guru” of pilonidal disease’”
THANK YOU DR. STERNBERG!!! After suffering a hard fall, I developed a draining abscess in the upper left area of my buttocks. I first went to a Dermatologist, who performed a painful in-office surgery. After the surgery, the area worsened. The Dermatologist then referred me to a Plastic Surgeon because he believed my case wasContinue reading “‘No pain, quick recovery, and a return to normal life’”
I just want to thank Dr Sternberg for being so great and to spread awareness for others who are also going through the same uncomfortable experience we call ‘pilonidal’. After having my first pilonidal surgery a couple years back I seemed to be ok for a year to only have it come back at theContinue reading “‘I haven’t felt this great in a while’”
I lived with a pilonidal cyst for two years – it was uncomfortable to sit normally and limited my ability to exercise. I saw a couple local doctors who recommended surgery, but the procedure they would perform involved a lengthy recovery with a fairly high chance of recurrence. Luckily, my mom researched the best pilonidalContinue reading “‘The gold standard for pilonidal surgery’”
If you spend hours sitting in front of a computer monitor or TV screen playing video games, you’re at risk of developing a common pain in your butt crack better known in the medical community as Pilonidal Disease.
I am a 24-year-old recovered patient from the Cleft Lift procedure. I first found out I had Pilonidal Disease when I was 19 and it was definitely some weird news to me (I got the Cleft Lift when I was 23 so I lived with the disease for 4-5 years). I had no idea whatContinue reading “‘I couldn’t believe that my life was back to normal’”
I have been a patient of Dr. Sternberg for roughly 20 years and always found him to be very professional, knowledgeable with a wonderful demeanor. This also goes for his office staff. All my procedures and treatments have been as comfortable as they could be, and highly effective. I would recommend Dr. Sternberg to anyoneContinue reading “‘Highly effective’: Recommendation from a patient of 20 years”
After our daughter endured three failed surgeries by other providers to treat her pilonidal disease and missed nearly a year of high school, we turned to Dr. Sternberg. Our daughter was so worried that a Cleft Lift would radically change her appearance, though when the removed bandages revealed a great outcome, she cried with joyContinue reading “Thanks from a Cured High School Student”
I have a lot of gratitude for Dr. Sternberg and his team! I learned about pilonidal disease and surgeries online and found them dismal and not encouraging at all. It was gloomy to see that most surgeons would recommend a procedure which would have maybe a 50 percent success rate, with possible future surgeries inContinue reading “The Cleft Lift procedure is as good as it gets”
We received a letter this month from a patient of The Sternberg Clinic who has successfully recovered from Pilonidal Disease after undergoing the Cleft Lift procedure at The Sternberg Clinic for Pilonidal Surgery. Read her story: What started off as something that seemed simple to correct, turned in to the worst experience of my life. Continue reading “Liz’s Story: ‘No one should have to go through this’”
I received an email in the recent past from a mother who told the story of her teen age son and the emotional toll his failed pilonidal treatments had taken on him and his family. Bill went through high school dealing with the annoying drainage, smell, and embarrassing staining. After graduation, he wanted to beContinue reading “A Mother’s Plea: Treating her Son’s Pilonidal Disease”
A story that demonstrates how much of our medical community fails in properly treating pilonidal disease. Read the story of Daniel, a 17-year-old patient with pilonidal disease.
A college student and Sternberg Clinic patient shares his experience with Pilonidal Surgery in the hands of Dr. Sternberg.
I had my pilonidal for several years before I found this website in my attempt to deal with the problem once and for all. Through this site, I discovered the “cleft lift” proceedure as pioneered by Dr. John Bascom of Oregon. I decided to call Dr. Bascom, and he referred me to San Francisco based surgeonContinue reading “Discovering the ‘Cleft Lift’”
A pilonidal cyst greatly impacted this college football star until he underwent surgery with Dr. Jeffrey Sternberg
My son had surgery for a pilonidal cyst 4 years ago, he continued to have pain after surgery, had 2 more surgeries last year and had to leave school because it got to the point where he could not sit anymore—we saw Dr Sternberg for this, he recommended a “cleft lift procedure”. My son hadContinue reading “Finally, a Successful Surgery”
Don’t let just anyone perform a Cleft Lift Procedure on you or a loved one. Do your homework and find a surgeon well experienced in the Cleft Lift Procedure and get your life back!
High praise from a grateful sufferer of an acute pilonidal abscess that was drained with great relief
This dude is a pilonidal expert. For those that don’t know what this is, it’s this really annoying cyst in your butt crack that makes it hurt to sit down. It’s like having a zit / bruise on the end of your spinal cord. This doctor always relieves my pain and is a very niceContinue reading “High praise from a grateful sufferer of an acute pilonidal abscess that was drained with great relief”
I feel that we doctors are in a rut when it comes to the care of pilonidal problems. ER, Urgent Care, Pediatricians, Dermatologists, and Internists often have a tough time making the diagnosis and even a more difficult time directing the proper path for treatment. More concerning is that many surgeons who ultimately treat theContinue reading “My Senior Year of College was Ruined by a Bad Operation for my Pilonidal Cyst”
I could not have had a greater experience with Dr. Sternberg and his team! I visited a surgeon before finding Dr. Sternberg who told me that my football career would be over and that I would require pilonidal surgery that would take over six months to heal. My mother found this website and we immediatelyContinue reading “Surgery saved my high school football career”
My son (24) had surgery to remove a pilonidal cyst in 2017 at an HMO which was a nightmare from the beginning. It had taken four months to properly diagnose the problem, and the surgeon there had stapled the site of the removed cyst which was terribly painful when removed; and my son had anContinue reading “‘We got our son back’”
Dr. Sternberg and his team are phenomenal in my opinion. I went in for a pilonidal operation. From first consultation to surgery I felt comfortable and well-informed about the whole process. Dr. Sternberg and team did a great job with my surgery. I was especially impressed with all the follow up check-ins afterwards, to ensureContinue reading “A Comfortable and Well-Informed Patient”
I recently met with a young mother. She had been dealing with the emotional toll of living with an open wound for 3 years after 5 failed pilonidal operations. Here’s what she initially wrote to me: “Hi! I am in desperate need of help and feel this may be my last resort. I have beenContinue reading “Mother with Pilonidal Cyst”
Pilonidal Disease might be more common in men, but many women are affected too.
Hey – I thought that was a saddle sore, or a sore tailbone, but my doctor told me it’s a pilonidal cyst. What do I do now??? Help! Patient Email My family and I recently attended the Jackson Wyoming Rodeo. What a hoot! My 4 yo boy and 7 yo girl (in a skirt) rodeContinue reading “That’s not Saddle Sore. Discovering Pilonidal Disease”
I received an email from a patient’s mother last week: I’m hoping to get an appointment for my son who has been suffering for over 2 years, first from pilonidal disease, and now from the consequences of failed surgery that made his problem far worse. I’m just perplexed that surgery would make a bad problemContinue reading “Another Tragic Story of Failed Surgery for Pilonidal Disease”
While I see around 5 or more new patients with pilonidal issues a week, and around 40% of those patients travel from outside of the Bay Area to meet with me because they have complex pilonidal issues, a young patient who I evaluated this week stands out. He’s a high school student and has sufferedContinue reading “Another Pilonidal Cyst Operation Gone Bad”
I went through Dr. Sternberg’s pilonidal cyst surgery over two years ago and I am very happy I made that decision. I was dealing with the issue for months. I went to Kaiser initially to see if they could remove it, but their suggested surgery required making a very deep cut, the recovery time wasContinue reading “‘I don’t know why other doctors do not do this surgery’”
‘Dr. Sternberg is confident, kind and has great empathy for his patients struggling with Pilonidal Disease’
Our 19 year old son suffered for the years after a failed Pilonidal Surgery in San Diego. He was left with an open wound that required daily care, his quality of life was totally compromised, he had to leave University on the East Coast and transfer to a University in San Diego so he couldContinue reading “‘Dr. Sternberg is confident, kind and has great empathy for his patients struggling with Pilonidal Disease’”
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 bridgeContinue reading “‘Great doctor, great treatment’”
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 inContinue reading “‘The Cleft Lift procedure he performs is definitely at the cutting edge of his field’”
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 toContinue reading “‘I can not explain to you the sense of reassurance, and relief that both my son and I felt’”
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 2Continue reading “‘Do not go through multiple surgeries that can make your life miserable’”
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 orContinue reading “‘Do not go to anyone else. You will thank yourself later’”
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. – Anne R.
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.Continue reading “‘This surgeon has a ‘blackbelt’ in pilonidal cyst surgery’”
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 toContinue reading “‘3 years later, I’ve got no symptoms and would say it’s a 100% success for me’”
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,Continue reading “‘We are forever in his debt’”
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 aContinue reading “‘We are so incredibly grateful to have found Dr. Sternberg’”
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 1Continue reading “‘This experience has been amazing’”
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 swellContinue reading “‘At 28 years young, I decided there had to be a better solution’”
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 worriedContinue reading “‘I’m so glad we said no to an open wound surgery’”
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 PilonidalContinue reading “‘I did not ask a girl out on a date in fear of her finding out about this problem’”
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. OutContinue reading “‘Within three days he was back to school’”
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. – Rene D.
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 andContinue reading “‘I couldn’t be more grateful’”
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 helpingContinue reading “‘Without fear, and without pain’”
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 stumbledContinue reading “‘Surprisingly very easy and quick’”
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 haveContinue reading “‘Dr. Sternberg and his staff really changed our lives’”
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 andContinue reading “‘The best decision I have ever made in my life’”
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 2018Continue reading “‘I have to thank Dr. Sternberg and staff for all they did for him’”
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 proceededContinue reading “‘They have honestly changed my life’”
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 IContinue reading “‘I couldn’t believe how little pain I experienced during my recovery’”
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 hasContinue reading “‘Great at communicating with us’”
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 unfortunately get disqualified. At that point in time I had no idea what thisContinue reading “‘He truly is the best in world for this operation’”
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 byContinue reading “‘It was the best decision we made’”
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 pieceContinue reading “‘Dr. Sternberg is a patient surgeon who cares’”
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,Continue reading “‘5 months after surgery I was back practicing boat pose (yoga)’”
If I could give Dr. Sternberg 1,000 stars, I would. My son has been suffering with pilonidal cysts for four years. It’s been awful. We finally got referred to Dr. Sternberg. My son had a cleft lift and now our four-year nightmare is over. I could not be more grateful to have found Dr. Sternberg.Continue reading “‘It’s been awful’”
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 recoveryContinue reading “‘I could not have asked for a better experience’”
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 actuallyContinue reading “‘They are the best at what they do’”
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 enjoyedContinue reading “‘There is no sign of the pilonidal problem recurring’”
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.Continue reading “‘I urge you to trust Dr. Sternberg’s capabilities and get your life back’”
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 withContinue reading “‘Couldn’t recommend more’”
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 three 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 notContinue reading “‘We traveled to San Francisco from Texas and we would do it again in a heartbeat’”
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 andContinue reading “‘I cannot stress enough to pick the right surgeon’”
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 approachingContinue reading “‘He literally gave me my life back’”
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 theContinue reading “‘Changed my life forever’”
After dealing with a pilonidal cyst for over a year, Dr. Sternberg recommended I get a cleft lift. Six 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 anyContinue reading “‘Six weeks after the surgery, I’m completely healed’”
I had the cleft lift done back on January 10th of this year and I could not be happier! After four 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 theContinue reading “‘I could not be happier!’”
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 DrContinue reading “‘I am greatly relieved that I had this procedure’”
Dr. Sternberg 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 hospitalContinue reading “‘If you have a Pilonidal ‘cyst’ DO NOT GO TO ANYONE ELSE’”
My son had two previous and unsuccessful surgeries to remove the “cyst” near his tailbone. When the doctor 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 rightContinue reading “‘ I wish I found Dr. Sternberg years ago’”
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 theContinue reading “‘Thank you doctor!’”
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 ofContinue reading “Thank you for ‘giving our son his life back’”
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