Denise Richard's "too-big" breasts spotlight teen plastic surgery

Denise Richards in Los Angeles on Dec. 8, 2010
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denise richards
Denise Richards in Los Angeles on Dec. 8, 2010
Getty Images

(CBS) Denise Richards is bummed about her breast implants.

PICTURES - Breast implants: Where they're biggest

"At 19 when I first got my breasts done, I wish that I was confident enough with my body to not have had surgery," she wrote on ivillage. "That is something that I really want to encourage in my daughters, to embrace their healthy body and have confidence."

Richards has said previously that her implants make her breasts look "way too big" for her body. So why did the 40-year-old actress/model - and an ex of notorious "goddess" aficionado Charlie Sheen - get them in the first place?

"My roommate had the best boobs ever, and she had just had hers done," she told Howard Stern in 2009, the New York Post reported. "I was flat as a board, and I thought 'Whoa, you can just buy them' and stupidly had them done."

Stupid or not, Richards is far from the only teen to have gotten breast implants. In 2010, more than 8,500 breast augmentation procedures were performed on 13- and 19-year-olds, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Altogether, nearly 219,000 plastic surgery procedures were performed on teenagers in 2010.

The society has no official policy on plastic surgery for teens. But in a recent briefing paper, the society says that it's often best to delay surgery "until breast growth ceases in order to achieve the best result."

After Richards had second thoughts about her implants, she went to another surgeon to have them reduced, the Post reported. But somehow she walked out with even bigger breasts. "I was in such a hurry to get them that I didn't research my doctor," she said. "I just thought because they're a plastic surgeon, they must be good. You have to be your advocate for your own body and ask 100 questions."

Despite her regrets about her breast implants, Richard doesn't sound as if she's ready to launch a crusade against surgical self-enhancement. As she wrote on ivillage, "I often get asked about my thoughts on plastic surgery, and I honestly feel it's whatever makes a person feel good about themselves."