Hey everybody, my name is Sam. I am brand new to the site and forums and wanted to post my story. This is my first post so it is going to be a tad lengthy. Over two years ago I discovered an abscess at the top of my butt crack. I went to the doctor and he told me it was a pilonidal cyst. He sent me to the surgeon who conducted a general excision procedure. The surgeon sewed me up straight down the crack which ended up coming open again. The surgeon then decided to reopen the wound and let it heal from the inside out, since the first procedure did not work. The second surgery did not work as well, leaving an even larger open wound. At this point I decided to look elsewhere because I lost faith in this particular doctor. I then went to a more specialized doctor who was more familiar with colon/rectal surgery. He performed his own version of the cleft lift which ended up coming back open. I then went back to the same doctor to try the same procedure however, yet again the wound opened back up. At this point I had been dealing with this for about two years and was getting fairly upset, as most of you can probably relate to. I then looked online to find the best cleft lift surgeon out there. The name that kept coming up was Dr. Jeffrey Sternberg out of San Francisco. I called his office and set everything up and they were able to get me in in less than 2 months. Dr. Sternberg was extremely professional, kind and outgoing. He explained everything thoroughly and assured me everything was going to be fixed. I told him about my past procedures and he said it would not be an easy one but that it would be no problem. I showed up a day before the procedure to meet with him for the consultation. The day of the procedure was super easy, the whole team was very nice and put me at ease. They even asked me what kind of music I liked and had it on in the operating room when I got in! (of course I only remember about two songs before the anesthesia set in!) Post op was very easy, I was a tad groggy but was able to get up and walk around that same day. In fact he encourages you to walk and move around to release pressure and drainage. Fast forward to now, I am completely healed and back to normal activities. (my procedure was on January 10th.) One key part I believe in my personal experience is the drain that is used in the cleft lift. I strongly believe the reason my first two "cleft lift" procedures did not work is because that surgeon did not use the drain. This causes the fluid to get trapped and create a pocket, then an abscess that way the fluid can drain. I CANNOT EXPRESS HOW IMPORTANT THE DRAIN IS! If you go to a doctor for a cleft lift and they don't want to use the drain, DON'T DO IT! YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE DRAIN!! Ok, enough on that. If you are having issues with pilonidal disease I very strongly encourage Dr. Jeffrey Sternberg in San Francisco. He has his own website on pilonidal disease, www.pilonidalsurgery.com which has tons of helpful information. I couldn't be happier with how everything turned out and am so grateful to have found Dr. Sternberg and the rest of his team.