Tuilagi suffered a torn pectoral muscle when he returned to Premiership action in September and is now a doubt for next summer's Six Nations.
Richard Cockerill, director of rugby at Tuilagi's club side Leicester Tigers, admitted the news came as a cruel blow.
"Manu is probably out for three months," Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill said.
"Manu Tuilagi has not been able to recover fully from the pec muscle injury with rehab and he had surgery yesterday to repair that.
"He had a reaction right at the end of the rehab process so that was the right thing to do. He will be out for probably three months.
"That's disappointing because we hoped to have him back in the next few weeks. It's a blow for him and for us."