The 24-year-old revealed he had been carrying an injury in his right shoulder for the past three years but put off going under the knife in order to fulfil his dream of competing at Tokyo 2020.
Writing on social media, Whittaker explained how that meant he effectively boxed his way to Olympic silver last month “with one arm”.
He wrote: “Finally, after three years keeping it silent, I got my shoulder surgery.
“I’ve had a tear for three years now and it never quite healed due to back-to-back tournaments, training camps etc.
“I’ve finally had the chance to get it sorted and after a recent MRI scan showed it was not only a tear but due to carrying on as normal it has developed cysts and part of the bone had come away from persistent use. That being said, I’m now on the road to recovery.”
Whittaker, who is expected to turn professional when his shoulder is fully healed, continued: “I was told I needed surgery when I tore it in 2018 but never had the time.
“Then in 2020 when Covid hit I thought it was the perfect time to get it done. So I took it upon myself to see one of the best surgeons.
“His advice was to get it done ASAP but it would mean maybe missing the Olympics. It was either that or push back surgery and fight with one arm…
“I had a great mindset to get through it and I knew that I’d be more than capable to win it with one arm so I got on with it!
“But it’s all good! Surgery went great and I’ll be back soon. Next time you’ll see me is in the professional ring and a 100 per cent me!”