A new technique called vascular occlusion has been found to help reduce the amount of muscle wasting that follows surgery. This technique involves applying five minutes of squeezing pressure to the thigh muscles several times a day in the first week or two after surgery. A large blood pressure cuff can be used to put the squeeze on the thigh. The pressure triggers the muscle to produce enzymes and hormones that actually promote muscle development.
Vascular occlusion by itself will not completely stop muscle wasting. But it can slow the process down. Low-intensity resistance exercises, such as straightening the leg over a pillow, or straight leg raises can also help reduce muscle shrinkage.