For mastectomy patients who choose to undergo breast reconstruction—approximately 40% of the population—selecting a plastic surgeon and reconstruction type can be stressful. A new HealthCentral article aims to take the guesswork out of the process.

Most patients choose between an implant-based reconstruction or flap reconstruction. An implant-based procedure uses breast implants to reconstruct the breast while flap reconstruction uses a patient’s own tissue from another part of the body, most commonly your stomach.

“If you decide to use your tissue, you probably don’t need to see a plastic surgeon again unless you want a revision,” says Justin M. Broyles, MD, a plastic surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Health located in Boston, MA. Because your own tissue is being used, additional maintenance after surgery is not typically needed. “That is just not the case with implants,” says Broyles. “Implants will require continuous monitoring throughout the patient’s life to assess for rupture or a replacement of the device. According to the FDA, implants need to be replaced every ten years.”

Read the full article on HealthCentral.