The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) has launched a new check-list for patients considering cosmetic surgery to ensure they “think carefully” before undergoing procedures.

The new online advice service has been created to counter “aggressive” marketing campaigns and “ruthless” sales techniques that some private companies employ, RCS said.

Last year, over 51,000 cosmetic surgery procedures were performed in the private sector in England, yet patients often find it difficult to choose a suitable surgeon and to obtain trustworthy information about the risks involved.

The new check-list is designed to empower the public to make the best and safest decisions for them.