When you meet with your surgeon, make sure and ask what pain management options you have.
I was given the option of an epidural, a pump, or shots. I ended up going with the epidural for the first few days (they won't let you keep it in long) and it was the least post-surgical pain I've ever experienced (I've had 6 resections). After that they went with the pump (usually a type of morphine based drug, dilaudid for me), and I made sure to have in my chart that I could have more pain meds as needed.
There can be a problem with the epidural and it did happen to me, but was worth it not to have that horrible, initial post-surgical pain. If the epidural moves, or doesn't go in exactly straight, you may have numbness down one or both legs instead of just your abdomen. If that happens, you have to stay in bed (usually with a catheter) because you're at risk for falling.
In my case, after a couple days they reduced the amount of drugs for a couple of hours (make sure you load up with other drugs first) and then when they raised it again, the numbness was only in my abdomen so I was finally able to get up.
The earlier you get up and start walking, the quicker you heal. But I still believe it was worth not feeling that initial post-op pain.
By the way, I'm not trying to scare you, just prepare you, and admittedly I don't deal with pain well anymore, it's getting old.
49 years old, CD since I was a child.
Six resection surgeries, permanent ostomy, adverse reactions to Remicade, finally off of Prednisone, back on 6MP, hoping for a long remission from this last surgery.