The term lymphedema refers to a chronic, progressive edema, usually of a limb, due to insufficient lymphatic flow. It may appear as a primary disturbance or secondary to other causes, e.g., after infections or surgery. The most common cause of lymphedema in the Western world is cancer surgery and/or radiotherapy. The authors summarize the etiology, pathophysiology and clinical staging of lymphedema. The diagnosis of lymphedema is usually based on history and clinical appearance. However, lymphoscintigraphy is the gold standard of imaging in doubtful cases. Adequate and early compression therapy and good patient compliance are the cornerstones of management of lymphedema. The authors present their experience with compression therapy for lymphedema. While no differences were found in the efficiency of compression therapy between oncologic and non-oncologic patients, compression stockings of class III seemed to be efficient in the majority of secondary lower limb lymphedemas but not as maintenance therapy for primary lower limb lymphedema.