Medical Services related to Joan Weichun Chen MD

Achalasia

Achalasia is a motility disorder that affects muscle function in the esophagus. Normally when a person swallows, there is a reflex to immediately relax the lower esophageal sphincter (the valve at the bottom of the esophagus that opens so contents can drain into the stomach) as the muscles in the esophagus begin to squeeze food down from the top.

Barrett's Esophagus

The multidisciplinary team at the University of Michigan Esophageal Disorders Program has wide and deep expertise in diagnosing and treating Barrett’s esophagus. 

Colon and Rectal Polyps

Colon and rectal polyps occur in about 25 percent of men and women ages 50 and older. Not all polyps will turn into cancer, and it may take many years for a polyp to become cancerous. Risk factors include a family history of polyps or colon cancer; an inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease; a high-fat, low-fiber diet; tobacco and alcohol use; little exercise; and obesity.

Diarrhea

The multidisciplinary team of the Michigan Bowel Control Program, will work with you to determine the cause of your diarrhea and provide an individualized treatment program that treats both the symptom and any underlying cause. 

Digestive and Liver Health

Digestive health at the University of Michigan Health System diagnoses and treats diseases of the gastrointestinal system of the body, including irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's Disease, GERD, liver disease and constipation.

Dysphagia (Difficulty Swallowing)

Dysphagia means difficulty swallowing food or liquids. There are many causes, including problems in the coordination or strength of the swallowing muscles, inflammatory conditions, benign narrowings of the esophagus called strictures, and cancers. At the University of Michigan’s Esophageal Disorders Program, our multidisciplinary team has broad experience diagnosis and treating dysphagia, with comprehensive diagnostic testing and a robust clinical research program.

EndoFLIP

EndoFLIP is a technology that simultaneously measures the area across the inside of a gastrointestinal organ (for example, the esophagus) and the pressure inside that organ. The ratio of the two measurements is called distensibility (stiffness).

Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE)

Eosinophilic esophagitis, or EoE, is inflammation of the esophagus (swallowing tube) that is related to allergies. Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell that is involved in allergic reactions. At the University of Michigan’s Esophageal Disorders Program, our multidisciplinary team has broad experience diagnosing and treating eosinophilic esophagitis, through diagnostic testing, therapies that are not widely available and a dedicated nutritionist with expertise in eliminating trigger foods.

Gastrointestinal Diagnostics & Procedures

The Gastroenterology Division at the University of Michigan provides specialized diagnostic and therapeutic procedures and services to diagnose and treat patients with a wide variety of gastrointestinal disorders. These services are all provided through the multidisciplinary Medical Procedures Unit, which is located in University Hospital. We perform approximately 15,000 procedures per year.

Make an Appointment

Make an appointment with an GI or liver specialist (gastroenterologist or hepatologist) at the University of Michigan or call one of our special clinic phone numbers. Call 1-888-229-7408 to get answers to your questions.

Our Care Team

Your gastrointestinal medical care team will depend upon the specific GI condition you are being treated for and often includes doctors with different medical specialties along with other health professionals collaborating to give you the best care possible. This is called a multidisciplinary approach, and at the University of Michigan, our goal is always to coordinate this multidisciplinary care in a way that is convenient and efficient for you.

Why Choose Michigan for Your Digestive and Liver Care

Gastroenterology specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the gastrointestinal system of the body, which includes the esophagus, stomach, intestines, liver, gall bladder, pancreas, colon and rectum.

Your Digestive System

Your digestive system is made up of a series of organs that allows your body to get the nutrients and energy it needs from the food we eat.  As food travels through the digestive system it is broken down, sorted, and reprocessed before being circulated around the body to nourish and replace cells and supply energy to our muscles. This page includes an animation of the digestive process as well as a description of the various digestive organs and diseases related to them that we treat at the University of Michigan.