Please assign a menu to the primary menu location under menu


DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction

Why would I choose the DIEP flap over Implant reconstruction?

Implant reconstruction is the most popular option owing to the ease of recovery and simplicity of surgery; however, implant reconstruction often is not a good option due to scar tissue problems caused by prior breast radiation or an unnatural feel and appearance of the breasts with implants.

DIEP flap reconstruction is the gold standard in tissue reconstruction as it spares critically important core abdominal muscles (unlike the outdated TRAM flap) with the results of abdominoplasty, or “tummy tuck,” as a benefit.

Is it safe?

Breast reconstruction is safe and is performed under general anesthesia. A short hospitalization is standard for some reconstructive procedures, including the DIEP flap.

I work only with board certified anesthesiologists and highly trained
operating room staff to ensure the highest level of patient safety.  I perform surgery at Inova Fairfax Hospital, the best rated tertiary care hospital in Northern VA, and the George Washington University Hospital in downtown DC.

What makes you an expert in breast reconstruction

I am one of only 5% of plastic surgeons worldwide who has the technical expertise to perform the DIEP flap routinely and safely. For this reason, I treat many patients for whom traditional reconstructive procedures have failed.

I also work with your breast cancer surgeon to minimize surgical scars. For example, if a patient is a candidate for “nipple-sparing” mastectomy then I can hide the mastectomy scar in the natural fold beneath the breast. Post-operatively, I collaborate with my wife Dr. Noëlle Sherber, a board certified dermatologist and world expert in scar biology, who treats many of my patients with laser scar therapy in order to soften and fade surgical scars. As scars fade, so do the difficult memories of breast cancer.

How do I know if I’m a candidate for DIEP flap reconstruction?

The best DIEP flap candidates…

  • have plentiful abdominal fat and excess skin
  • do not want, or can not have (due to radiation treatment) implant reconstruction
  • want their breasts to be rebuilt with their own healthy tissue
  • want to be finished with surgery forever (this cannot be said for implant reconstruction)

About Ariel N. Rad, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Rad received his mechanical engineering degree with a minor in computational mathematics magna cum laude from Princeton University and he earned his medical degree at Duke University.  Dr. Rad was awarded multiple grants from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and National Institutes of Health to conduct research at NIH, Duke University and the University of London where he completed a Ph.D. in immunology.  In 2003, Dr. Rad entered the residency program in plastic and reconstructive surgery at Johns Hopkins.  Upon completion of his training in 2009, Dr. Rad joined the full time plastic surgery faculty at Johns Hopkins as Assistant Professor and Director of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.  While at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Rad and his colleagues pioneered the LSGAP ìLove Handleî flap, the most advanced and challenging microsurgical technique in breast cancer reconstruction (only 30 surgeons worldwide are able to perform this operation).

As a board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Rad focuses his work on facial aesthetic improvements and microvascular breast cancer reconstruction. In 2014, Dr. Rad founded SHERBER+RAD in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Dr. NoÎlle Sherber, a Harvard educated and Johns Hopkins trained board certified dermatologist, to deliver the full spectrum of state-of-the-art care.  Dr. Rad is known for his skill in microsurgery and facial aesthetic surgery, and his nuanced and artistic vision.

Sherber + Rad

1101 15th St. NW, Suite 100
Washington, DC 20005


  • Face Lift, Eyelid Lift & Rhinoplasty
  • Breast Lift, Reduction & Augmentation
  • Tummy Tuck, Liposuction & Body Lifts
  • Breast Cancer Reconstruction