The veteran closer, who had been pitching in pain all season, had been told by several specialists that he didn't need surgery and to pitch through the pain.
"I don't think I'd be a good pitcher throwing with pain," said Dotel, who was placed on the disabled list on May 20 because of teninitis. "If I keep trying with the pain I have, I wouldn't be able to do my job."
Recovery time after the surgery is an estimated 12-15 months, meaning he will miss the entire 2006 season.
Dotel will become a free agent at the end of the season. In 15 games this year, he was 1-2 with a 3.52 ERA and seven saves.