Sonograms, sonogram imaging and/or sonography all mean the same thing. Sonograms can also be called ultrasounds and are also frequently called ultrasound imaging, ultrasound scanning or ultrasonography. Basically, sonograms have a lot of different names but they all mean the same thing. Since most people recongnize them as ultrasounds, we will use that term from here on out.


What are Sonograms and Sonography?

An ultrasound (sonogram) is a noninvasive medical procedure that helps doctors diagnose and treat medical conditions. The method uses high-frequency sound waves to produce very specific images of what’s inside a patient’s body.

Ultrasound exams do not use radiation and patients are not exposed to any radiation. They are not x-rays.

Ultrasound equipment produce high-frequency sound waves that are aimed into and through a person’s body. The echoes of these waves that are bounced back off structures inside that are then recorded. These principles of using echos to gather data are actually the same principles that allow SONAR on boats to see the bottom of the ocean. It’s basically the same type of “Echolocation” bats use to fly around at night without ever bumping into anything or each other.

Qualified technologists have the ability to measure the different frequencies of echoes bouncing back and decipher what caused them or exactly what they bounced off. With the aid of a computer, this data allows a very precise image to be created almost in real time.

Health care professionals use ultrasounds to view a man, woman, or even a child’s heart, blood vessels, kidneys, liver and/or other organs. And because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can actually show the movement of a person’s internal organs almost in real time, including the blood flowing through their blood vessels.

Ultrasound technology is especially accurate at seeing interfaces between solid and fluid filled spaces. Thus, during pregnancy, doctors use ultrasound tests to examine the fetus inside a woman and are able to view the structure and any movement of the fetus.

baby ultrasound found here in two views

Conventional ultrasounds can display their images as thin, flat sections of the body. However recent advancements in technology have created ultrasound imaging that is three-dimensional (3-D). The same principals are used but computers format the sound wave data into 3-D images. Four-dimensional (4-D) ultrasound is 3-D ultrasound but shown in motion.

Getting a Sonogram:

Before the Sonogram
During the Sonogram
After the Sonogram


mom and baby Ultrasound

Above: Having your first baby picture tops the list for best non-medical reason for an ultrasound.

Two Views of Ultrasounds

Above: Ultrasounds can measure the conditions of heart and arteries.

Two Views of Ultrasound test

Above: Patient receiving an sonogram test.

sonogram measurement from Two Views

Measuring the growth of a developing fetus is one reason doctors order sonograms.

ECG ultrasound of heart in two views

Above: ECG ultrasound of the heart.

cyst in sonogram

Above: Identifying a cyst in the ovary here in this sonogram.


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IMPORTANT: The information on this page, and throughout the entire site, is not intended to provide advice or treatment for a specific situation. Consult your physician and medical team for information and treatment plans on your specific condition(s). Images are shown for illustrative purposes. Do not attempt to draw conclusions or make diagnoses by comparing these image to other medical images, particularly your own.

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