The Canucks expect the 27-year-old to be out up to six months, meaning he will likely miss the start of the regular season.
Kesler said after the Canucks were eliminated in the first round by the Los Angeles Kings that he had been playing with an undisclosed injury since February.
"After consultation with our team physicians following the playoffs, it was deemed that Ryan would require a procedure on his shoulder," Canucks president and general manager Mike Gillis said in a statement. "We expect a full recovery and determined this procedure would best serve the team's and Ryan's long-term goals."
Kesler had 22 goals and 27 assists in 77 games this season. It marked a drop-off from the 73 points (41 goals, 32 assists) he had in 2010-11 when the Canucks reached Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals.