Abidal to have liver transplant
The France international had liver surgery a year ago after being diagnosed with a tumour.
The club statement said: "Given the development of his medical condition, Abidal will undergo a liver transplant in the following weeks. The transplant is an option that has been considered since the beginning of his treatment, one year ago.
"At the express wish of the player, the club requested the utmost respect for the right to privacy and confidentiality."
Barcelona did not give any indication of for how long Abidal would be out of action.
The 32-year-old underwent surgery last March but returned to play in Barcelona's UEFA Champions League final win over Manchester United, and has been a first-team regular this season.
He has started 20 Primera Division games this term, although he has not played since suffering a hip injury playing for France in their friendly win over Germany at the start of the month.