Despite only having played once this season after an ankle injury ruled him out of action in April, Henson has been included in a 32-man squad for the games against South Africa, Canada, New Zealand and Australia on successive weekends from November 8.
"Gavin Henson was outstanding for us during the Six Nations last year," said Gatland, who led Wales to Grand Slam glory in his first year in charge of the national team.
"He's one of our world class players and, when fit, he is always going to be in our thoughts."
Injury brought Henson's first Lions tour to a premature end after the second Test against the All Blacks and he has since experienced a number of other injury problems since his return from New Zealand. However, Gatland's decision to keep faith in the former Swansea centre will be a huge boost to the 26-year-old, especially as next summer's Lions series against the Springboks is now less than eight months away.