Higuain faces two months out
The Argentina international, Real's second-highest scorer in La Liga this season with seven goals, has been struggling with back pain and missed Monday's 5-0 defeat at Barcelona.
"The player met with a specialist, the coach, the fitness trainer and the entire medical staff (on Wednesday)," the head of Real's medical services Carlos Diez was quoted as saying on the club website.
"After a period of five to six weeks, during which no improvement was seen, we all agree that he should have surgery.
"We must now decide what specialist to see for a second opinion and, if we all agree, proceed with the operation.
"Should this be the case, Higuain will be unable to participate in sports for approximately two months."
It will be a major blow to coach Jose Mourinho who only has Karim Benzema as cover at centre forward. The France striker has failed to make an impact since moving to the Bernabeu last year.