The surgery will be performed Tuesday by orthopedist James Andrews, who has already operated on Guzman's elbow and shoulder. The Cubs did not offer a timetable for his return.
"That's the risk I am going to take," Guzman said. "I don't want, in two years, just thinking, 'Why didn't I do it?' I'd prefer to get it done now and see if I really can keep pitching."
An alternative to the surgery would have been a rehab program of four to six weeks that offered no guarantees it would have him ready to pitch by May.
"[Andrews] said a lot of pitchers have had that surgery done before and have come back good," Guzman said.
Guzman had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in January after hurting himself running in preparation for the season.
Beset by injuries his four-year career, Guzman pitched in a career high 55 games last season, posting a 2.95 ERA and the Cubs were hoping he'd be the right-handed setup man.