Percutaneous renal surgery provides a minimally invasive approach to the kidney for stone extraction in a number of different clinical scenarios. Certain clinical cases present inherent challenges to percutaneous access to the kidney. Herein, we present scenarios in which obtaining and/or maintaining percutaneous access is difficult along with techniques to overcome the challenges commonly encountered. Also, complications associated with these challenging percutaneous renal surgeries are discussed. © 2011, SAGE Publications. All rights reserved.