We studied 43 patients (25 women and 18 men) who had salivary calculi removed from the hilum of the submandibular gland. Preoperatively they had clinical and radiographic examinations, and glandular function was measured scintigraphically in 38 patients. Postoperative follow-up was based on history, clinical examination, structured questionnaire, and scintigraphy. Stone(s) were removed successfully in 42 patients (97%). During the follow-up of a mean of 24 months (range 4-47), 37 patients were symptom-free and 2 patients had mild obstructive symptoms that did not require intervention. The other 4 patients had repeated infections that necessitated removal of the gland under general anaesthesia. Preoperative and postoperative scintigraphic assessments were made in 37 patients (88%). There was a significant increase in the functional fraction and the excretion rate in the gland after removal of the calculus. We conclude that glandular function improves to varying degrees in most patients after the removal of a salivary calculus.