Former U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms (search) was in a hospital on Saturday after having a gall stone removed but was doing fine, aides say.

Helms spokesman Jimmy Broughton said the former senator is expected to have his gall bladder removed sometime next week.

Judy Edwards, Helms' personal assistant, said she had not spoken with Helms, 82, but said she spoke with his family who said he was doing great.

Helms retired from the U.S. Senate in 2002, having won re-election five times.