The validity of an extended Rayleigh model for laser generated bubbles in soft tissue is examined. This model includes surface tension, viscosity, a realistic water equation of state, material strength and failure, stress wave emission and linear growth of interface instabilities. It is compared to detailed dynamic simulations using the computer program LATIS. These simulations include stress wave propagation, a realistic water equation of state, material strength and failure, and viscosity. The extended Rayleigh model and the detailed dynamic simulations are compared using a 1D spherical geometry with a bubble in the center and using a 2D cylindrical geometry of a laser fiber immersed in water with a bubble formed at the end of the fiber. Studies are done to test the validity of the material strength and failure, stress wave emission, and the interface instability terms in the extended Rayleigh model. The resulting bubble radii, material damage radii, the emitted stress wave energies, and the size of the interface distortions are compared. Conclusions are made on the validity of the extended Rayleigh model and on possible improvements to this model. The purpose of this study is to investigate the use of the extended Rayleigh model as a substitute for the detailed dynamic simulations when only limited information is needed. It is also meant to benchmark the detailed dynamic simulations when only limited information is needed. It is also meant to benchmark the detailed dynamic simulations and highlight the relevant physics. It is shown that the extended Rayleigh model executes over 300 times faster on a computer than the detailed dynamic simulations.