Billingsley had the option of undergoing elbow surgery last September, but elected for rehabilitation and received an injection of platelet-rich plasma at the time. The right-hander was on the disabled list for elbow inflammation three times in the past year.
Billingsley was pain-free throughout spring training and got through two starts this season before the pain returned during a bullpen session April 19. An MRI confirmed a partially torn ligament.
Billingsley, 28, is 81-61 with a 3.65 ERA in 219 career appearances, including 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA this year. The former All-Star is in the second year of a three-year, $35 million contract extension he signed in 2011.
Steven Fife got the first chance at replacing Billingsley in the Dodgers rotation, but prospect Mat Magill also had his Monday night outing limited to four innings under the orders of the team's front office. Top pitching prospect Zach Lee, who is 2-0 with a 1.16 ERA at Double-A Chattanooga, is another long-term possibility.
The surgery will be performed by team orthopedist Neal ElAttrache at the Kerlan Jobe Clinic in Los Angeles.