A former aide says ex-U.S. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott has suffered a ruptured appendix.

Lee Youngblood said Thursday he has been in touch with Lott's family. Youngblood says the 71-year-old underwent surgery and is expected to recover.

Baptist Medical Center spokesman Robby Channell says Lott was in fair condition Thursday afternoon at the Jackson hospital.

Lott has a home and office near Jackson.

He lobbies for the Washington-based Patton Boggs LLP law firm and the Ridgeland, Miss., law firm of Butler, Snow, O'Mara, Stevens & Cannada PLLC.

Lott was elected to the U.S. House in 1972 and Senate in 1988.

He resigned as Senate majority leader in 2002 after he made remarks at a birthday party for then-Sen. Strom Thurmond that seemed to support segregation. Lott returned to Senate leadership as minority whip before retiring in 2007.