The surgeon wanted to make sure no additional hernias develop along the incisions. He felt doing this was the best route to prevent any future problems. He was confident that it will go well with little risk of bowel complications.
I'm usually more comfortable with familiar things. Since I've has PCA several times, I'm more comfortable with it than the epidural. From other people's experiences that I've read, including here, it seems like there is a chance of the epi not working well or at all. I'd hate to wake up from surgery and find out the epi isn't working right. I was also concerned about how it would effect feeling / controlling the pouch.