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South Korean doctors claim to have discovered the secret of pulling in Internet punters - by showing sex change surgery on line.

A private clinic and medical information company involved in the stunt say the site has received 19,000 hits from e-voyeurs hoping to catch a glimpse of the ten-minute clip.

The episode has been criticised as sensationalist, but the two companies said they hoped the broadcast would help people gain a better idea of what to expect from transgender surgery in a country where issues such as homosexuality and sex swaps are frowned upon, AP reported.

"Those people who visit the Web site, most are considering having the operation, most are already on hormonal treatment. I don't think it will attract other people," said Chang Song Sun, the urologist who carried out the original seven-hour operation.

The patient, a 27-year-old pianist who went under the pseudonym of Hae Young, was happy with her new body but unhappy with her country's views on the surgery, and is reported to have left South Korea after the $15,800 surgery. ®

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