My cousin had a illium resection last july where they took 5 inches. She was like you, she had excruciating pain in her side for 6 months prior and was on steriods which did not much of anything. She had no other cronhs symptoms like D or blood and her BMs where normal. Finally in june of 2012 her pain was so bad that the surgeon said enough is enough with the dam steriods, it is time to take this mass of inflammation out. The GI still insisted it can be controled with drugs like humira and had a fight with surgeon who said humira will do nothing at this point and the mass of inflamation has to come out now before other problems arise like fistulas and abcesses.
She had robotic de vincini surgery in July 2012. What was very good about this surgeon is that he had a pathologist right there in the operating room as he was operating so he could have samples of intestines examined as he cut it out so as to know if he was taking enough so as not to leave any disease behind where crohns could start again. Also he did not want to over cut and take out too much intestine so as to keep trauma and side effects to a bare minimum. He ended up only taking 5 inches and the appendix.
After surgery my cousin was in pain for about two days, but nothing real bad that she could not control with drugs. She was in the hospital 10 days because she had a low blood count due to anemia from poor nutricion prior to surgery. She had some D for about the first 7 days after surgery and then BMs became normal and one a day. It has been 7 months since surgery and she has not had one symptom from her CD and all her BMs are normal. She takes only pentassa as a maintenance drug and follows the SCD diet as a secondary precaution.
I think what was her saving grace was her surgeon who took a conservative approach with not cutting out more then necessary, but cutting enough to get everything. Alos I believe her being on the SCD diet is alkso helping so symptoms don't retrun.