Many official-sounding, highly technical terms in the medical field are thrown around. To the layman, they sound the same–very confusing. Two terms that are used interchangeably all the time are ultrasound and sonogram. While they are related, they are not identical. Is there a difference between ultrasound vs. sonogram? Yes, there is, and we will explain it here.
What Is Ultrasound?
An ultrasound is a noninvasive procedure that doctors use to diagnose patients. Ultrasound machines, like the Philips IE33, allow technicians and doctors to see the inner structures and organs in a patient without having to make an incision. Ultrasound is also known as sonography, which is where the confusion lies. The ultrasound machine uses high-frequency sound waves, emitted from a transducer probe, to create the images. The waves bounce off the inner structures and return to the probe. The speed and angle at which the waves return to the probe indicate where things are. That information goes to the CPU, algorithms are applied, computations are finalized, and an image is produced on the monitor. Ultrasound images are most commonly associated with pregnancy and checking on the development of the baby. There are many other applications for the science, though, and doctors use it to find broken bones, tumors, and to heal patients with chronic pain.
What Is a Sonogram?
Once all that data is fed into the CPU, the image that is created is the sonogram. Sonogram is just a fancy way to say image. The real-time image that the technician and patient look at on the screen and any still pictures captured are sonograms. It’s easy to see how the two words are intertwined and used in place of each other. They are related terms, and one wouldn’t exist without the other.