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Updated: Oct 10, 2023

Although the terms ultrasound and sonogram are commonly used as interchangeable, they do not mean the same thing! This is a common misconception, but comes with a very simple explanation.

A medical ultrasound is the actual procedure of sending high frequency sound waves into the body to create diagnostic images of human anatomy. A sonogram is the image that is produced from the ultrasound. To illustrate, an ultrasound is like a camera, and a sonogram is like a photograph.

difference between an ultrasound and a sonogram

Most ultrasound sonograms are stored digitally and can be sent to healthcare providers electronically; however, there are still some cases where a sonogram is printed out for the patients. The most common example of this would be a printed fetal sonogram for prospective parents to keep for their memories.

fetus ultrasound

Ultrasounds can be performed on the entire body to assess the structure and function of organs and vessels. This means there can be sonograms of the liver, heart, gallbladder, pancreas, and the kidneys; but those images aren’t typically as exciting as a developing fetus and are not printed. These images will be stored electronically and in a safe manner.

ultrasound and sonogram

The next time your doctor orders you an ultrasound or you hear the term sonogram used in conversation, you’ll know the difference!

To learn more about ultrasounds and sonograms, contact

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