A cooled electrosurgical system includes an electrosurgical device having at least one electrode for applying electrical energy to tissue. In one embodiment, the electrode includes an internal cavity in which a cooling medium such as water is contained. The internal cavity is closed at both ends of the device such that the cooling medium is contained within the electrode at the surgical site such that the cooling medium does not contact the tissue being treated. The electrosurgical device has an electrode and a heat pipe to conduct heat from the electrodes where substantially all heat conducted from the electrode through the heat pipe is dissipated along the length of the heat pipe. The heat pipe can have a thermal time constant less than 60 seconds and preferably less than 30 seconds.