Sonography Vs Ultrasound – What’s the Difference?
If you’ve ever been pregnant, you’ve probably heard the terms sonography and ultrasound thrown around a lot. Chances are you’ve had more than one ultrasound performed, even. But when it comes down to it, do you know the difference between a sonogram and an ultrasound?
Not very many people know there is a difference between these two terms, much less what that difference is. They’re often used interchangeably, but in reality, they’re two different things. Read on to learn more about sonography vs. ultrasound.
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Why Get an Ultrasound
There can be several reasons you might need to get an ultrasound. The obvious one is if you’re pregnant; this technique can be used to check in on your baby and learn about its sex. But this can also be a useful diagnostic technique even if you aren’t pregnant.
You can use ultrasounds as a way to view blood vessels, organs, and almost anything else inside the body. This can be useful for diagnosing a number of internal issues, including gallbladder disease, thyroid issues, prostate problems, and more. It can also be used to guide a needle during a biopsy of a tumor or to evaluate metabolic bone disease.
So what is an ultrasound anyway? As you may have guessed from the name, an ultrasound uses sound waves to generate an image. The transducer sends these sound waves into your body, and collects the ones that bounce back off of organs and other internal structures.
Ultrasounds are painless, safe imaging procedures that are usually external. The technician will apply a water-based gel to your skin as part of the ultrasound preparation to help prevent air pockets that can interfere with the sound waves and move the transducer over your skin. Sometimes, there may be internal ultrasounds done in the vagina, rectum, or esophagus, but these are rarer.
A sonogram is actually the image generated by an ultrasound, not a separate procedure. The two terms often get used interchangeably because they are so closely linked. But while ultrasound refers to the procedure, sonography is the practice of evaluating the images that procedure produces.
Sonography is also a field of study that a person has to go through to be an ultrasound technician. They learn about how to perform an ultrasound, but also how to read the results. After all, it takes skill to look at that shifting, grainy mass of black and white and identify specific features.
Learn More About Sonography vs. Ultrasound
It’s a good thing to know the difference between sonography vs. ultrasound, especially if you’ll be having them regularly. They are two distinct things, even if they are used in conjunction on a regular basis. If nothing else, you can impress your ultrasound technician with your knowledge.
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