What Is Sonography? What Is The Difference Between Sonography And Ultrasound?
Sonography is a medical imaging technique that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of internal body structures. Sonography is also known as ultrasound. After the X-ray test, ultrasound is the most used diagnostic imaging technique.
The image shows both the size, shape and density of internal body structure, which is beneficial in the diagnosis of medical conditions. If the tissue is denser and harder, it bounces more high-frequency sound waves back to the transducer, and the sonogram image will be more brighter. A transducer is a device used for sonography that emits ultrasound waves. The high-frequency sound waves emitted through the transducer are inaudible.
Why Is It Done?
Sonography is used for many purposes. This imaging technique is used for examining the abdomen without a skin incision. Abdominal ultrasound test can diagnose-
- Kidney stone
- Liver disease
- Aortic aneurysm
- Enlarged organ
Sonography is commonly used to examine the development of the fetus. It can also determine the location, age and number of the fetus and potential birth defects.
It is also used to evaluate medical conditions such as
- Joint conditions
- Testicular lumps
- Breast lumps
- Ovarian cysts
- Bone disease
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Intracranial haemorrhage
The sound waves also produce images of blood or fluid flow, where the image shows the direction of the blood flow. It’s impossible for ultrasound waves to pass through very dense and hard tissues and organs filled with gas.
Sonography is used to detect different disorders and illnesses affecting children. Sonography is used to check for signs of appendicitis by examining the gastrointestinal tract. It is also used for examining bone structure for a possible spina bifida or congenital hip dislocation in the fetus.
Is The Technique Safe?
Sonography is preferred over imaging techniques that have chances of complications. The method does not use any radiation. When the patient undergoes a CT scan, they are exposed to significant levels of radiation. And in the case of MRI, images are captured with the help of very strong magnets. MRI can’t be done for patients with metal inside their body.
Sonography test is carried out on the surface of the skin, and there are no known complications associated with sonography. The ultrasound waves are considered as harmless. When exposed to ultrasound waves for a longer duration, there are chances for the disruption of tissues. But the computer adjusts the power of the sound waves and the sonographer uses techniques to reduce the duration of exposure. Therefore sonography is relatively safe among different other imaging techniques.
The procedure will be completed in less than 30 minutes. The procedure will be done either at the hospital, imaging centres, or obstetric offices. Normally you need to undergo sonography with blood tests. In the case of an emergency, the sonography test will be carried out right away without any delay.
Ask your doctor if you need to eat or drink or not before the procedure. If the gallbladder is examined, then you should undergo the test with an empty stomach where you need to fast for 6 hours. If the bladder is examined, you have to drink a lot of water before the sonography test.
After all the images are acquired, the sonographer will check with the radiologist to ensure if an image from another view is required or not. After the interpretation of sonogram images, the report will be made available to the doctor by the radiologist.
You need to wear something that can easily be removed. You have to expose the area that needs to be examined. You will be asked to lie down on a bed.
During the procedure, the sonographer will apply a colourless gel to the area which will be examined and also on the transducer. The gel helps to conduct the ultrasound waves from the transducer to the area examined. The sonographer will move the transducer over your skin, where the waves bounce off the internal body structure, which is examined. Images will be created, which will appear on the monitor. The sonographer will examine the images for visual cues that indicate whether the area which is examined is healthy or not. After examining the images, the doctor will make the diagnosis and explain the results to you.
Sometimes you need to undergo a follow-up exam. The physician will explain to you why you need a follow-up exam. The reasons why you need a follow-up exam are-
- Need for further examination of an abnormality.
- To check the changes of an abnormality.
- To know whether a treatment is working or not.
What Is the Difference Between Sonography and Ultrasound?
Sonography is a technique that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of internal body structure. For that purpose, ultrasound waves are used. The images of organs, tissues, blood flow, are produced. The image generated by the ultrasound is called a sonogram.
Sonography is also known as ultrasonography. The benefits of ultrasound are-
- Extremely safe
- No radiation
- Widely accessible
- Easy to use
- Real-time imaging
In simple terms, sonography is the technique and ultrasound is the tool.
Sonography is done by sonographers using ultrasound devices. Literally, sonography also means sound writing and ultrasonography means extreme sound writing. This is because the sonographers use high-frequency sound waves to create images during the usg scan.
These high-frequency sound waves move energy through solid, liquid and air by colliding with the particles around. Sound waves quickly move through solids when compared to air. The waves move at a different speed when the sound comes across your internal structures. The waves bounce off as echoes. When processed by a computer, these echoes create images called sonograms.
The machines used for the technique generate and receive high-frequency sound waves. The machine helps both the sonographer and the doctor to view internal body structures of the patient.
Ultrasound devices create both 2D and 3D images. For the past decades, gynecologists use 2D ultrasound to examine the development of the fetus. Even though the 2D images are useful, 3D ultrasound can create clearer images of the fetus. Since ultrasound does not use radiation, it is used for the diagnosis in case of an emergency without the need or other imaging techniques.
Ultrasound is also used to guide procedures. An example is a needle biopsy. In a needle biopsy, a needle is used to collect cells from the affected area for diagnosis. It is also used to guide the biopsy of breast cancer. Moreover, it is also used to diagnose medical conditions of the heart like congestive heart failure. The ultrasound test of the heart is known as an echo cardiogram. It is beneficial for assessing the damage caused by a heart attack.
Sometimes, the soft tissues won’t appear clearly in X-rays. In such cases, ultrasound is preferred.
Ultrasound is also used to determine potential pelvic inflammatory disease, pelvic masses, abscesses, endometriosis. It is also used to examine the reproductive system for patients with infertility issues.
Considered as one of the best imaging techniques, sonography helps doctors to make the diagnosis easily. It is used for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes alike. Not only is sonography safe, but it is also non-invasive, portable and affordable. Since it is portable, patients who won’t be able to visit a hospital or imaging centre can undergo sonography from where they are. But before undergoing the procedure, always enquire about the procedure and follow the doctor’s instructions.