Woman holding chest

DIEP Breast Reconstruction

Do you need a mastectomy and are worried about how your breasts will look? Does the thought of breast implants make you nervous?

DIEP flap reconstruction is a way to reconstruct your breasts using your own tissue to give you natural-looking results.

Dr. Oren Lerman in Manhattan, NY, can expertly perform this advanced surgery to give you the most natural-looking and feeling results.

What is DIEP Flap Reconstruction? One of the most advanced autologous
breast reconstruction techniques


Deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flap is a procedure used to reconstruct a breast after mastectomy by transferring the excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen to the chest to create a new breast mound.

How Does DIEP Flap Reconstruction Work?

The DIEP procedure uses microsurgical techniques by transferring the tissue and blood vessels from your abdomen to your breasts. The existing blood vessels are cut, then reattached to new blood vessels in your chest keeping the new breast tissue alive and healthy throughout your life. The transplanted tissue is living, natural tissue that looks, feels, moves, and ages like your original breasts, which allows for the most natural results after mastectomy. 

Benefits of DIEP Flap Surgery

Own Tissue

The DIEP flap is your body’s tissue so it will age with you, and over time there will never be any risk of rejection. Your new breasts will also look, move, and feel like your natural breasts.

Better With Time

Most patients with autologous reconstruction look better with time as the breast mound softens and behaves like natural tissue. 


Whether you have had a unilateral or bilateral mastectomy, your plastic surgeon can ensure your breasts are symmetrical through DIEP flap reconstruction as they control the amount of tissue being placed.

Cosmetic Bonus

The DIEP procedure is done by taking tissue from the abdomen, which gives the patient the added aesthetic benefit of a flat abdominal contour, similar to that seen after a cosmetic tummy tuck. 

Diep Flap Reconstruction

Diep flap reconstruction allows for breast reconstruction using your own natural body tissues. Dr. Lerman specializes in breast reconstruction, including natural breast reconstruction. He has the expertise to perform this procedure on more candidates than many other plastic surgeons.

An Experienced Plastic Surgeon

You Can Trust

Dr. Lerman

With all the stress surviving breast cancer brings, choosing a plastic surgeon should not be one of them. Dr. Lerman can safely provide you with superior results that will leave you with natural-looking and natural-feeling breasts. Dr. Lerman is the Past President of the New York Regional Society of Plastic Surgeons and director of breast reconstruction at Lenox Hill Hospital's Institute for Comprehensive Breast Care. He is also the director of Microvascular and Cosmetic Breast Fellowship where he oversees the training of the next generation of DIEP flap breast reconstruction and cosmetic surgeons. If you need breast reconstruction, call our Manhattan, NY, office today to set up your consultation with Dr. Lerman. 

(212) 434-6980


New York Women Trust Dr. Lerman


Melodie Mane


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Dr Oren Lerman is the best at what he does and gets incredible results. Bonus he has a pleasant personality, he is a true professional ,and is trustworthy...

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Lizbeth Maxwell


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Dr. Lerman and his staff are amazing! I couldn’t be more satisfied with my results.

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Am I a Candidate For DIEP Flap Reconstruction?

One of the most common misconceptions about DIEP reconstruction is that you must be overweight to perform a DIEP flap. This is not always the case, you just need enough extra tissue to create a breast. Dr. Lerman often performs this type of reconstruction for women who have previously been told by other surgeons they are not good candidates. If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer and need a mastectomy, call our Manhattan, NY, office to schedule a consultation to see if DIEP flap is the right choice for your breast reconstruction surgery. 

What to Expect  During Your DIEP Procedure

The first step is to consult with Dr. Lerman to ensure DIEP flap is the right reconstruction procedure to meet your needs and expectations.
Depending on how many breasts are being reconstructed, the DIEP procedure typically takes between six and eight hours.

Day of Procedure

Depending on how many breasts are being reconstructed, the DIEP procedure typically takes between six and eight hours.


This surgery requires the use of general anesthesia, so you will remain asleep and pain-free for the entirety of the procedure. 


An oval incision is made along your bikini line then a pre-determined portion of skin, fat, and blood vessels are removed and transferred to the breast. No part of the abdominal muscle will be moved, cut, or altered in any way during this surgery.

Reattaching the Flap

Once the tissue has been removed from your lower abdomen, Dr. Lerman will utilize advanced microsurgical techniques to reattach the blood vessels from your abdomen tissue to the new blood vessels in your chest. 

Tummy Tuck

By removing the excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen, you will be left with a slimmer stomach with improved contour without affecting the underlying abdominal muscle. Many patients are happy with the improved aesthetic of their breasts and stomach after this procedure.


After your surgery is complete, you will be moved to a recovery room and be monitored by the hospital staff. Most patients who undergo this reconstructive procedure require about five days in the hospital. 

What to Expect  After DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction

It takes about 6-8 weeks to recover from DIEP reconstruction to where you can resume your regular activities and about one year for you to completely heal and for the scars to fade. Dr. Lerman will give you specific instructions on how to care for your incisions after your reconstructive procedure and may recommend wearing a compression girdle up to eight weeks after surgery. Painkillers and anti-inflammatories may be prescribed to you once you are discharged from the hospital. It is important to only take these as directed by Dr. Lerman.

Results You Can be Proud Of 

Aesthetic and reconstructive surgical techniques naturally complement one another, and a surgeon cannot excel in either without being adept at both. As a specialist in reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery, Manhattan surgeon Dr. Oren Lerman strives to achieve the highest level of excellence and care in treating all patients whether they are looking to restore their natural form after breast cancer treatment or enhance their beauty through aesthetic surgery. You can be sure to have results that look and feel natural. If you're in the New York area, call our Manhattan, office today to schedule your consultation.

(212) 434-6980

Dr. Lerman

See Why New York Chooses Dr. Lerman After Their Mastectomy


Denise Nales


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Dr. Lerman performed 3 surgeries on me as I had a bilateral mastectomy. He is just such an amazing physician, who cares about his patients. Dr. Lerman is warm, caring and attentive to every detail. I am beyond satisfied with the results of my surgeries.

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Beth Stern


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I came to see Dr Lerman having begun the implant process post mastectomy but very unhappy with the tissue expander. I had constant discomfort and a misshapen breast. Within hours of Flap surgery my pain was gone. I am so thankful!

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DIEP Flap vs. Other Autologous
Perforator Flap Options

DIEP is one of the most advanced autologous flap reconstructions, by removing excess skin and fat from the abdomen, rather than muscle allows for a quicker recovery and fewer risks than other autologous reconstructions. However, if there is not enough excess skin and fat in the abdomen, but you still want to use your own, natural tissue, your doctor will recommend one of the alternatives.
Tram flap reconstruction diagram, taking tissue from abdomen

TRAM Flap Reconstruction

TRAM Flap reconstruction is one of the oldest and most common forms of autologous tissue breast reconstruction techniques. Like DIEP, TRAM flap reconstruction also takes tissue from the abdominal area, however, it removes part of the rectus muscle from the abdominal wall and transfers it to the breast. Since part of your muscle is removed, recovery is longer, more painful, and has more associated risks than the newer, more surgically-advanced DIEP procedure.

Skin from buttock

SGAP Flap Reconstruction

Superior Gluteal Artery Perforator (SGAP) flap reconstruction uses the tissue from your upper buttock to reconstruct your breast after a mastectomy. Unlike DIEP, the incisions of SGAP flap reconstruction are placed beneath the underwear line concealing them from view. However, similar to DIEP, SGAP can have a cosmetic benefit to your posterior making the skin around your buttocks tighter and more youthful in appearance.

Transverse upper gracilis (TUG) diagram

TUG and PAP Flap Reconstruction

Typically what is recommended most for women who do not have sufficient fat around their abdomen, transverse upper gracilis (TUG) and profunda artery perforator (PAP) flap surgeries harvest the tissue from one or both inner thighs. PAP only harvests fatty tissue and TUG harvests both fatty and muscle tissues. These procedures also have an added cosmetic benefit of providing a thigh lift giving the patients slimmer, tighter legs.

DIEP Flap After Implant Reconstruction

The most common type of breast reconstruction after mastectomy in the United States is a reconstruction using breast implants. Although this option works well for most women, it often needs to be revised over time. Even when a result is excellent at the time of the mastectomy, over time many patients develop complications or are simply dissatisfied with the result of their breast implants as their body changes and gravity and age take effect. One of the best ways to fix problems or dissatisfaction with breast implants is to remove them completely and perform a DIEP flap reconstruction.

"I Highly Recommend Dr. Lerman"


Julie Rosenberg


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After consulting with several physicians, I met with Dr. Lerman and immediately felt the most comfortable with his knowledge, experience, patience, ability to explain medical details and answer questions and overall bedside manner. I would highly recommend Dr.  Lerman if you are selecting a plastic surgeon and want someone who cares about his patients as well as surgical outcomes.  His office staff members are also pleasant,  extremely responsive and provide a comprehensive positive patient experience.

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Saul Melman


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I'm an ER doctor in NYC. I was referred to Dr. Oren Lerman by a colleague.
Dr. Lerman repaired my significantly deviated nasal septum with excellent cosmetic and functional results.  Dr. Lerman listens well and took the time to explain his surgical approach and expectations.  He demonstrated concern for my well being before AND after the surgery. I highly recommend Dr. Lerman .. in fact, I've already referred two other ER doctors to him for a similar issue.

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Dr. Oren Lerman

Oren Z. Lerman, MD

Dr. Oren Lerman performs a variety of cosmetic and reconstructive procedures with a specialty in reconstructive breast surgery. In fact, he is the director of breast reconstruction at Lenox Hill Hospital's Institute for Comprehensive Breast Care as well as the Microvascular and Cosmetic Breast Fellowship. In addition to the hospital, Dr. Lerman is affiliated with:

  • The New York Regional Society of Plastic Surgeons (Past President)
  • The American Board of Plastic Surgery (Diplomate)
  • The American College of Surgeons (Fellow)
  • The American Society of Plastic Surgeons
  • The American Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery

You can schedule a consultation with Dr. Lerman by filling out our online form or calling (212) 434-6980.

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"The one thing that is most important when we're doing cosmetic surgery and aesthetic surgery of the face or the body is to make sure that the patient is happy afterwards..." Dr. Oren Lerman

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