Elsa Patton had a shocking plastic surgery journey: Inside the procedures

She reached a celebrity status through "The Real Housewives of Miami."


Most people would go great lengths to enhance their appearance, that is the reason why plastic surgeries become a common practice everywhere in the world.

Sadly, these procedures aren’t always successful and leave permanent damage and deformation of the face. Such was the case with the famous reality star Elsa Patton, best known for her appearance in the show “The Real Housewives of Miami.” She was part of the show for two years, between 2011 and 2013, but it was more than enough for her to reach a celebrity status. It was her one-liners and her lively personality that made her a beloved character.


At the same time, she underwent a number of procedures which left her unrecognizable to the extent that a plastic surgeon in Tampa, Florida, called it out and said there was “no worse case” of plastic surgery going wrong than Elsa Patton.

What we know of Elsa Patton before her appearance in the show is not much. Ancestry.com reported that she was born in Cuba on August 25, 1936. She was married to husband Donald Patton for over five decades before his passing in 2018, over a year before Elsa died too.

“Mama Elsa” and Donald had two children together, daughter Marysol Patton, who was part of “The Real Housewives of Miami” together with her mother and later on was part of the reboot, and son Thomas Anthony Jones.


Speaking of her mother, Marysol told Reality Tea: “Growing up my mother always had so many people that always wanted to be around her; a lot of celebrities, a lot of very important people always wanted to be friends with my mother.

“Everyone was always fascinated by her so this doesn’t seem any different than how it’s always been.”

Marysol added, “It’s a little different when we go out together on the streets because strangers are coming up to us or staring or pointing or taking pictures, so that’s a little a different. But she enjoys it very much.”

In 2012, Elsa was given her spin-off show, Havana Elsa, which followed her journey towards starting her coffee chain. “I love Cuban coffee… and now I’m going to have a coffee of my own, that is gonna be wonderful, it’s gonna be to my taste, and on top of that I’m gonna make me money,” she said at the time, as reported by Huffington Post.

When it came to her plastic surgeries, it was evident she had many, although she never really spoke openly about it. She referred to her surgeon as of “the man who ruined my face.” Her daughter, Maryson, however, revealed more information about Elsa’s surgeries and said that her mom had her eyelids done during the 80’s, which left her with hematomas on her eyes for nearly three years.

Elsa Patton in her youth/ Instagram/Marysolpatton

Facial Plastic Surgeon Benjamin C. Stong of the Kalos Facial Plastic Surgery in Atlanta, Georgia, said that it’s “almost hard to even imagine” what she looked like before her surgeries. Another expert, double-board certified surgeon Dr. Farrior in Tampa, Florida, described Elsa’s face condition as a “tragedy” in judgment, ethics, and technique.

“Chances are that she did not do it to herself but was able to convince someone to do it to her. That is where it should have stopped,” Dr. Farrior wrote, adding that the surgeon in question had the responsibility to refuse further surgery.

“The real mistake was the choice she made for a provider because they did not say NO,” he added.

Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images

In 2013, mere days before they were about to start shooting season three of the reality show, Elsa suffered a stroke and was rushed to the hospital. As months and years passed by, her health deteriorated and she passed away on May 13, 2019, after “a long illness.” Elsa was 84 at the time of her passing.

Marysol honored her mother when she married her husband Steve McNamara, president of a Florida construction company, in 2021. Her Mayan wedding ceremony was performed by a shaman. “It was the basis of her mom’s spiritual-religious roots,” a source told Page Six. “She felt her mom’s influence guided her to have this kind of ceremony — Elsa is still in charge!”


The Real Housewives franchise creator and executive producer Andy Cohen made a touching tribute to Elsa on his show Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. “Throughout the history of the Real Housewives, we have met many friends and relatives of the wives, but rarely has someone’s spirit, humor, and wisdom made such an indelible impression as Elsa’s did,” Cohen said.

We will never forget “Mama Elsa” and her wonderful personality. May she rest in peace.

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