Varazdat Kazanjyan was born in Yerznka in 1879. In 1879 he attended the Congregational School of Jesus in Swaziland, then moved to Samsun, where he worked with his brother, and then worked in the postal service. Escaping the Hamidian pogroms, he left for the United States in October 1895, settled in Worcester, Massachusetts, and worked in a wire factory.
Receiving US citizenship in 1900, Kazanjyan studied at Harvard University from 1902 to 1905 and was awarded a doctorate in 1921. From 1915 to 1919 he was chief orthopedic surgeon at Harvard Medical School.
He volunteered for Harvard Medical Forces during World War I. Here he treated the badly injured people in the trenches: jaw, nose, cheeks, skulls damaged by bullets and grenades. Working in the simple conditions of self-made hospitals on the battlefields of France, Kazanjyan provides human care, innovative medical procedures, and began his career as the founder of the modern practice of plastic surgery. In 1916, Kazanjyan was promoted to major.