I had surgery to remove my IC valve about 2 years ago due to a tumor next to the valve. The surgery was laparosopic, but they did need to make a 2-3 inch incision to take out the piece(s). Afterwards it wasn't very painful, all things considered. The next day I felt like I had done about 1000 sit-ups, sore but not the worst pain I've endured. I stopped all pain meds about 36 hours after surgery because I wanted to get my intestines working as soon as possible so I could leave. I didn't have the stomach tube, but I did have a catheter for about 12 hours after the surgery.
I wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything until I passed gas, about three days after surgery. Then it was clear liquids for a few meals, then solids. I'm hypoglycemic so the hospital dietician wouldn't let them give me jello (yeah!), I had to get on solid foods quickly. Once I had a bowel movement, I was out.
I had a lot of D for a few weeks after surgery, then it stopped. I was really tired for about 2 months, I would not have been able to return to work full time after the three weeks originally suggested.