DiPietro had arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a meniscus injury on Oct. 31. The decision is a precautionary measure to address swelling in the knee.
The Boston University product and first-overall pick in the 2000 draft is expected to resume skating this summer in preparation for the 2009-10 season.
"This has been one of the most frustrating situations I have ever had to deal with, but this is the right decision for me and the team," said DiPietro. "I am confident this will allow me to make a complete recovery, be ready in plenty of time for next season and compete to my highest ability for many years to come. I'd like to thank Islanders fans for their patience and I look forward to playing in front of them next season."
DiPietro, an NHL All-Star starter in 2007-08, has played in just five games this season.
"After extensive consultation we feel this decision is in the best interest for Rick and the team," said Islanders general manager Garth Snow. "This will allow Rick ample time to make a full recovery for next year."
DiPietro has played in 273 NHL games and has a record of 117-112-24 with eight ties, a 2.79 GAA and a .905 save percentage.