Rees suffered two shoulder injuries last season and after picking up a third against Glasgow it has been decided that surgery is the only solution.
He will then require a recovery period of six months meaning he will miss the entire RBS 6Nations.
Rees also faces a race to prove his fitness ahead of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
"We are hugely disappointed for Tom, especially given the incredible efforts he made to come back from two lengthy shoulder injuries last season," said Wasps Director of Rugby Tony Hanks.
" However, our primary focus is to ensure that our players are looked after and that injuries are managed as effectively as possible and therefore, in light of the new shoulder compliant, it is thought by all parties that surgery is the best option for short term recovery and long term sustainability.
"As Captain his presence is greatly missed, but his qualities as a leader and team player are still very much a part of the daily life at the club. Everyone wishes him a speedy recovery."